Nation’s call for change grows louder with each mass shooting

The argument over whether or not and how to disarm those who would shoot to kill innocent victims with firearms has never been hotter in our nation.
Yet again we watched in horror Feb. 14 as the details of a mass shooting confirmed what we already know -- this has got to stop. Seventeen people died in a Florida school this time, another chapter in a tragic tale of sequels dating back to Columbine in 1999.
Our culture has drastically changed somehow, creating a mindset that allows a troubled individual to even consider picking up a gun and causing such unspeakable horror. Guns have been around forever, though the act of walking into a school or public venue and executing people at will is a tragic, modern phenomenon. At its core it reflects a lack of respect for others and life itself, as well as a complete inability to cope with challenges. There is no simple or short-term fix for that societal shift.
Though no shots have been fired in a Nebraska school, thank God, we are not immune to this new era of threat. Plattsmouth schools were shut down for a day last week after two students “joked” that they were about ready to go on a shooting rampage. That’s no joke, especially not now, though it raises the level of alarm and attention to detail exponentially. The FBI missed a tip on the troubled shooter in Florida, for example, having been alerted by someone who feared Nikolas Cruz was about to go off. With today’s social media reach, investigating each and every tip like that is a daunting though necessary task.
So what is the answer, the best approach to making this madness end? Some would say the solution lies in gun control, banning assault-style weapons and beefing up background check regulations. President Trump and others have suggested that teachers and school administrators could be part of the solution by carrying weapons themselves, though that concept is hard to fathom. An armed security guard at every school may be in our future, though there was an officer on duty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida who chose not to engage. Even with training and a weapon, not everyone is instinctively going to act like a Navy Seal a the moment of truth.
The one unarguable point in this dilemma is that mental illness and assault weapons are a lethal combination that must be kept apart. On that point, America’s voice is growing louder, with student activists and even many gun proponents alike agreeing that things have got to change.
One definition of insanity is to continue doing everything you’re doing and expect different results. As gut-wrenching as it is to hear and see these reports, without significant legal changes we are resigned as a nation to expect it to happen again, not if, but when.
Kurt Johnson

Rate this article: 
No votes yet