Do something!: A plea to heed now

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Posted 2/20/18 (Tue)

Whines & Roses
By Cecile Wehrman

Driving to Williston for an eye appointment last week, I heard the stunning plea of a woman preparing to bury her 14-year-old daughter following the school shooting in Florida.
Shrill and raw, her entreaty to President Trump to “Do something!” may have lit a powder keg among people tired of inaction to prevent mass shootings.
Heartening, too, was the appearance on “Face the Nation” Sunday of five students -- classmates of those killed last week -- who are vowing to make a movement in memory of their slain friends.
Like those students, and that mother, I am tired, so tired of seeing these stories. I actually, for a moment last week, found myself frustrated with the wall-to-wall coverage of who the shooter is, what the signs were that he might take some violent action, what the reaction was by the president and members of Congress, and all the rest of it. Sadly, we know this story by heart.
Not that Sandy Hook or Las Vegas shouldn’t have been enough to convince the powers that be that something had to change, I found myself wondering, what’s different this time?
Is it that the reports are coming ever more frequently? I don’t know. I do know this: It’s long past time for mere hand wringing and “thoughts and prayers.”
It’s time to DO SOMETHING.
It’s time to break down the commonalities in these events and take just one action that -- while not a guarantee -- would make it less likely our country will be hearing about another of these tragedies next week or next month.
I don’t care if our leaders decide to tackle it from the standpoint of mental health. I don’t care if they tackle it from the standpoint of upping the age for people who can buy an AR-15. I don’t care if it’s a decision that bump stocks should be banned or that high capacity magazines should be outlawed.
I simply want our elected leaders to DO SOMETHING. Just pick one of those things, send a bill to the floor, and vote on it, so the public will know who is willing to TRY to put the safety of our citizens above the gun lobby.
The slippery slope is not a descent into disarming our population. The slippery slope is that circular arguments about how one action or another will fail leaves us mired in inertia.
Worst of all is the argument that more laws only impact the rights of law-abiding people.
If we take that argument to its illogical conclusion we need have no laws at all -- no maximum speed limits, no laws outlawing drunk driving, not even a law that makes it illegal to steal or to wear a seatbelt. We know that all laws are deterrents only, and in an age when more and more rapid-fire weapons are being put into the hands of troubled young men, a deterrent -- any deterrent -- is better than what we have now.
Over the weekend, I had a lively social media exchange with friends from all over the country -- and all over the political map. 
I asked a few I would label “pro-gun” whether they’re willing to accept the deaths of innocent children as the price we have to pay for our right to bear arms. 
Even some of these guys are ready to concede, SOMETHING must be done. Just pick one thing.