Over the past few days we have watched thousands of mourners attend vigils held in remembrance of the victims of our most recent mass shooting. It is a scene that will continue to play out in the days and weeks ahead. It is a scene that we have witnessed all too many times before. Yet as the nation continues to mourn there are signs that we are already moving on.
We learned this morning that the city fathers in Oklahoma City have awarded a liquor license…to a shooting range. The General Manager of the Wilshire Gun Range maintains that they have a strict “no shooting after drinking” policy. Perfect! Liquor and firearms…what could possibly go wrong?
Have we become so anesthetized to the violence that lives at the very fiber of our society that we think selling liquor in a shooting range is a reasonable proposition? Apparently so!
A vast majority of Americans believe that we need to take steps to curb the violence in this country. A vast majority of Americans believe that those steps include a national gun registry, back ground checks on ALL gun purchases, the elimination of the sale of extended ammo clips, banning assault weapons and an increased emphasis on mental health issues and the role they play perpetrating that violence. Yet the majority continues to be held hostage by the NRA and a small group of wackos who measure the size of their penis by the size of their arsenal.
We like to talk about “American Exceptionalism.” We like to talk about how we live in the greatest country on earth. Patriotic bravado is cheap.
The facts are that we live in a society where any home on any given block can house an arsenal that would well equip a Marine platoon. We live in a society that allows the reoccurring slaughter of its innocents to go unchecked. We live in a society where the safety of our children is routinely held hostage for political gain.
There is nothing “exceptional” about that.