It happened again and this time Florida was faced with an all-too-familiar tragedy. A former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School opened fire inside the school leaving 17 people dead. The community there in Parkland, Florida, is still trying to come to grips with what has happened there. It is deeply disturbing to witness a nation being gunned down in churches, at schools, at pop-concerts and to know that there is nothing anyone can do about this perennial issue.
Despite this being the 18th incident of shooting this year, the debate over gun control is a settled one, and not even the most appalling attack seems to bring any change. It seems the horrors of such shootings at schools, from Columbine High School in Colorado to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida haven’t been enough to convince lawmakers to enact laws that protect America against such vile in-house attacks. These repeated national tragedies continue to spark deeply divided political and emotional responses with some urging tougher laws and others calling for more armed guards at schools in the country. Once again there will be prayer vigils, makeshift memorials with children’s photos and goodbye notes. But that is not enough anymore. Mere calls for action are also not enough anymore.
Unfortunately, America will continue relive this national nightmare if Congress decides to ignore the need for common-sense gun safety legislation. This oblivious attitude towards the national epidemic of mass shootings has very much normalised gun violence in many ways. Now more than ever, America needs a stronger voice and greater will to act against this dreadful nightmare that has been haunting it for ages. Otherwise, there will be another mass shooting with only the sad repetition of words we have heard before — ‘enough is enough’ — but in a different town and a different community.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2018.
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