When is the right time to talk about it?

Another week, another mass shooting incident and another act of terror that caused innocent citizens to lose their lives.

It’s amazing how numb the public has become to the news of these shootings and other terror inspired acts. There once was a time in this country when people would be outraged at such things happening. Phrases like “Things like this don’t happen in America” and “We’re not going to allow it to happen again” were heard from every corner — especially from our leaders.

The only things we all seem to say now are “Where did this one happen?” In the back of our minds we are saying “Thank God, it didn’t happen around here,” and “Is it really safe to go anywhere where a group of people are located?”

That is a pretty sad state of affairs and gives credence to the view that the terrorists and the other fear mongers are winning by spreading fear in this country.

The bigger question is where did our leadership go in this country? When America is desperately looking for someone to push back and say “This stops now” — we don’t have that in our leaders on either side of the aisle. They appear too concerned with getting re-elected in 2018 than acting as leaders.

Instead, we watch as the Senate Majority leader after the shooting in Las Vegas and the president after the one in Texas utter the exact same phrase of, “This isn’t the time to talk about this.”

Well…when is the right time to talk about it?

I think most Americans would love to get an answer to that question. Do several hundred more innocent Americans have to die before the “time is right?”

Toss on top of that the line “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.”  Nice phrase, but probably a better one would be “We are going to honor their memories by doing everything possible to see this never happens again.”

Think you will hear one of our leaders say that?  I doubt it.

Remember the fighting spirit that occurred after 9/11 and the stirring scene of then-President George Bush standing at the site with Old Glory floating in the background? Like Bush, or hate him, by going to that location he showed that America wasn’t only mad about the killing of our people, we were downright angry.

Country singer Toby Keith summed it up best with the lyrics in his song “Red White and Blue” when he sang the phrase “Oh, justice will be served, And the battle will rage, This big dog will fight, When you rattle his cage, And you’ll be sorry that you messed, with The U.S. of A, ‘Cause we’ll put a boot in your a–, It’s the American way.”

The mood seems to have changed now. What we hear today from our leaders are comments like “Well, unfortunately that’s the world we live in today.”

Yes, we need to be aware of those threats and live our lives accordingly, but at the same time, shouldn’t our leaders be seeking solutions to change the status quo?

Since 2001 we now have a generation of kids that only know the lifestyle that exists today. They never have known the freedom to board a plane without a massive security check, to attend school without being locked in the building, to go to a shopping mall, marathon race or church without the fear of becoming a target.

Is that what America is about and what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they started this country?

No, taking away everyone’s guns is not the answer, and it is a constitutional right to own them. However, is it wrong to talk about tightening up security measures so guys who are a legitimate threat to innocent people like the one in Texas don’t gain access to them?

That is where the leadership comes from and it should be something people from both sides of the aisle in Congress and the American people talk about. We should be willing to sit down and discuss as adults what can be done for honest, hard working Americans to keep their guns and yet have fool-proof safety measures in place to stop those who shouldn’t have access to them.

If we don’t and continue to say “Now isn’t the time to talk about it,” then things are not only going to stay as they are, but get worse. Hopefully, someone will have the courage to stand up and be a leader in this country and start the discussion before I…see you next Wednesday.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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