To the editor:
It is hard to say anything new on the subject of gun violence and the twin evil of racism and white supremacism that seems to be fueling a lot of the carnage.
We know that no other nation, not torn by war, sees these levels of mass shootings. Not even close. Not even in the same universe.
We know the emptiness of the phrase, “Thoughts and prayers.”
We know that politicians who have the responsibility to act to protect American lives have been bought and are beholden to the gun lobby.
We know weapons of war are not for hunting.
We know words of hate can inspire actions of hate.
We have seen cowardice when we need leadership.
We have been warned about the growing threat of homegrown white nationalism.
We can shout, “When will it be enough? How many more will have to die?” But we know we’ve shouted that many, many, many times before.
We know all these things, and so many more . . .
With the number of assault weapons and high volume magazines already out in American society, there will be no easy solutions to this public health emergency. With a president who cheers violence against his political rivals and those he sees as “others,” we know the fires fanned by dangerous rhetoric are likely to continue to burn.
But while Washington continues to be trapped by normalizing a deadly status quo, I sense that the will of the majority of Americans who believe we must do something is having an effect. You can see it in the statements reacting to the recent massacres, the calling this what it is, the vows for action at the ballot box for local and national races.
This is not the America most of us will accept, where children and shoppers and people out for a night with friends are slaughtered. There can be no euphemisms or whataboutism in this moment. We need clarity to see the threats for what they are and not let those who peddle in lies or distortions distract us from the truth of their complicity or the need for action.