What We Won: Background Checks?

So it looks like that's all we're going to get.  After all the blood that was spilled in Newtown, and Aurora and  the 14 other mass killings last year, we're just getting background checks.

Which, the Republicans, bless their hearts, want to emasculate even further by requiring that no records be kept of the checks.

After all the tragedy and grief and promises to make it stop, we're getting background checks.  That's it.

Some say background checks are a huge step in the right direction. But why do I feel so defeated?

And it's not even 100% sure that Congress, when it returns from recess, will even vote in that.

I think back to December 14 often and how I was driving to an after-school homework club for elementary school students when I heard some local radio jocks talking in muted voices about a shooting. It took a second before I realized, hey. They're talking about a real shooting.  And can it be, kids died?

I continued driving and the facts began sinking in.  A school in Newtown had been entered by a gunman and children were dead.  It wasn't known how many, at that time. But the fact that there were any was just something I could not believe.

I got to my church, where the homework club is held, and went inside, and looked around at all the kids, some playing checkers, others finishing homework, still others reading on the couch with a grown-up.  I looked at their sweet faces and I had to leave the room for a minute, because I was crying.

Even now, three months later, I can still feel that same numbness, that sense that this just can't be.  I thought then that there was no way gun laws wouldn't be tightened, assault weapons banned, please, children protected.  And in the weeks that followed the slaughter, I grew hopeful that this time, this time, it would happen.  We would start behaving like a nation that valued lives more than guns.

But slowly, I began to get the sense that things were slipping.  I remember when Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut, my home state, said the window of opportunity was slowly narrowing, after Newtown, back in early January, and thinking, no, that can't be right.

But the NRA called out its dogs and terrified the leaders we thought, knew for sure, would do the right thing.  And here we are, three months later, back to business as usual.

Gov. Malloy's pretty much called it a day, resigned to the sad fact that Connecticut is going to do far more about gun control than Washington. A lot of us thought, okay, those beautiful children died. But something good will come of it.  We'll have more sensible laws about guns.

Funny, huh? I'd laugh if my heart weren't breaking.



Popular posts from this blog

Think You're Pretty Smart? You May Actually Stink at Visual Skills, Crucial in Today's Digital World

Leave Your Ego at the Door

End Your Texts With a Period? Don't