I feel sorry for anyone not sickened by the shootings in Atlanta and Boulder.
Sixteen people, going about their normal day. Shopping, working, visiting a spa, getting a massage. Sixteen people never to return home to hug their spouses, parents, children or friends.
America has a gun problem. We have known that for decades. And yet we refuse to do anything about it.
No one has ever suggested a total ban on weapons. But we need to look at banning certain types of weapons, weapons that are not designed for hunting or self-defense, but designed for mass shootings and needless slaughter of human beings.
Yes, stricter penalties for possession of guns illegally or using them in a crime, are needed. But so are background checks, longer waiting periods, prohibitions of certain weapons and ammunition, prohibiting unlicensed people from selling guns and restricting the number of guns a person can buy.
Will everyone agree with all those provisions? No. People will not. I know that. You know that.
But we need to ask ourselves: What is it about our country that makes us think that thoughts and prayers are going to prevent future shootings? Thoughts and prayers don’t work … laws and enforcement will.
I don’t think this is a left or right issue, a conservative or liberal debate, a Republican or Democrat stand. It’s an issue that concerns all of us.
I do believe it is time to have a serious discussion about what we want our society to be like in the future. We have already wasted too much time … and too many lives … in waiting for that conversation.
And let’s talk about mental health too. Gun violence and mental health seem to go hand in hand.
I noticed in the voters’ guide the county issued last week that across the county there are several board positions where no candidate filed.
I have served on the park board and the library board and while serving on a board does take a lot of time, it is essential that people who care about their communities serve.
And vote. It bothers me to see states pushing legislation to restrict the right to vote. We are a smart, innovative, technologically-adept country that should be able to figure out how to get more people to the polls while not having them stand in line for hours to vote.
Take heart. Baseball is almost underway. Go Cubs! Go Sox!! Here’s to an all C Chicago World Series!!