Doubling down on hardline attitudes will never solve the problem.
Three recent mass shootings have left the nation in a state of shock.
The terrible carnage at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, a Walmart parking lot in El Paso and downtown Dayton, Ohio, has many Americans worrying about their safety in public spaces.
The shootings have also brought about the typical response from politicians on both sides of the gun control argument — the blame game.
Once again the cry is “something must be done.” But what, exactly? A lot of people seem to think they know the answer. We have plenty of gun laws already. We have plenty of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens. And we have hopes and prayers in abundance.
Yet the shootings continue. The death toll rises. Americans want to feel safe. They want to be able to go about their business without fear. Experts will tell us these mass shootings are aberrations and that we are actually very safe. No doubt they are right.
But that doesn’t change the way so many feel.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that some stores in Texas now carry “bullet-resistant” backpacks for schoolchildren. They’ve been available online for a while but now they are in stores. We can’t fault parents who buy these backpacks. We just wish they didn’t feel the need.
We don’t have the answers. We don’t know if anyone does, especially when guns are such a hot-button issue, one as divisive as any in the country.
We would like to think our elected leaders — left, right and center on the firearms question — could come together, put aside their stubborn, hardline attitudes, and actually listen to one another. Consider options. Negotiate. Compromise. Be willing to give as well as take. Maybe something could be “done” that would actually make a difference.
Unfortunately, we know that’s nothing more than a dream. As surely as we know that mass shootings will continue.
An editorial from the Texarkana [Arkansas] Gazette.