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How Can We Be Here Again?
Today is the worst type of day to be a journalist.
I can’t express how ridiculous and pointless it feels to hit “publish” on a piece about another potentially devastating hurricane season when major news outlets are flooded with a story about 18 children killed in one of the places they should have been most safe.
Hurricane prep is incredibly important - as any resident of New Orleans knows - but it pales in importance next to the heart-wrenching headlines, videos, and photos now flying across computer and television screens.
What makes it worse is that we - both journalists and our audience - already know how this story goes.
In the coming weeks, there will be a collective outrage from parents and grandparents. They will be joined by their children, those students who are old enough to share their own experiences with the world. Politicians on the left will advocate for gun control measures, while politicians on the right will list all the reasons why the free-for-all “right to bear arms” is a good thing.
Through it all, "thoughts and prayers” will fly through the ether accomplishing… well, not much, it seems.
After the Sandy Hook tragedy, many thought that surely now there would be some movement, some national outcry, something, that would result in changes so that it couldn’t happen again.
And yet, here we are again.
I believe that the majority of Americans are filled with the type of empathy and common sense that could lead to an outcry and a real movement for change if we can shout down elected leaders bent on supporting only the most extreme interpretation of the Second Amendment.
It has never been clearer: we need common-sense gun control measures such as universal background checks.
The sad fact is, the majority of weapons used in mass shootings in the US are obtained legally.
This has to change.
We cannot allow this to keep happening over and over and over again.