PI Editorial: Too much ‘of course’ in our acceptance of mass violence | PostIndependent.com

PI Editorial: Too much ‘of course’ in our acceptance of mass violence

Jan. 25 started as just another day until, of course, it wasn’t.

Of course someone had recently made, according to law enforcement and court documents, threats against school officials and facilities.

Of course this resulted in a rapid scramble from enforcement agencies throughout the region. Of course children suffered emotional trauma and anxiety across multiple school districts and three counties.

Of course it could have been so much, much worse.

Of course we’re thankful it was handled without anyone being physically harmed.

And of course we don’t expect anything to change.

When it comes to the specter of mass murder in our nation’s schools, shock and surprise withered on the vine years ago, seemingly replaced by somber tones and, on a good day, hollow words of doing better.

We aren’t doing better, and it is frustratingly clear that we have decided as a country to live with the specter of mass shootings at our schools, our synagogues, our shopping malls, our colleges.

We’re appreciative of the work our local educators do to help our students grow and learn everyday, just as we are thankful for law enforcement’s efforts to keep our communities safe. Yet neither of these groups of professionals can be expected to solve this problem on their own.

Cultural acceptance of weapons in our midst has to change, whether it’s assault rifles meant for one purpose, and one purpose only, killing; or even the occasional knife that shows up in the possession of students in our schools, sometimes even in elementary schools.

Frankly, we need to do more as communities to support those on the front line of this issue everyday, and actually apply pressure and accountability to our elected leaders to get gun reforms passed. Less than 20 years ago, the United States had more stringent gun controls in effect through the assault weapons ban. We can do this again.

Unless, of course, we just accept this grim violence as our way of life.

The Post Independent editorial board members are Publisher and Editor Peter Baumann, Managing Editor John Stroud and community representatives Mark Fishbein and Danielle Becker.

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