The horrific fatal shooting of 20 students and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., has caused so much pain and anguish, to many the idea didn’t sound real, shocked that such a thing could happen.
But it was all too real, as the U.S. again faces its demons in trying to reconcile a constitutional amendment to bear arms against the destructive capacity of modern weaponry.
Speaking at a church service held on Sunday in Newtown, President Barack Obama said the greatest test of the U.S. is how it looks after its children, and the Newtown experience, like with other schools where similar shooting atrocities have occurred before it, gives his country a failing grade.
In a country that places greater value on owning guns than helping those who suffer from mental illness or who are just left behind in the maturation from a child, to a teenager, to an adult, the end result was again repeated for all Americans to experience—and unfortunately again probably ignore with time. For U.S. politicians, so many of whom rely on the National Rifle Association pro-gun lobby cash machine to fund their campaigns, they’re helpless to do anything positive on gun control, for fear any restrictions will encroach on that constitutional right to own a gun or cost them their elected jobs.
Selling guns in America is also big business, and in that country’s current culture, profit and loss on the corporate balance sheet exceeds the need for compassion of those who need help. The debate will now repeat itself in Washington, D.C. and on the cable news networks—arm more people to dissuade anyone from taking murderous liberties vs. tighter controls on firearm ownership.
The families of all those who lost loved ones in the Newtown school deserve some forward-thinking results from that debate rather than endless partisan bickering, but they’re not likely to get it.