Virginia Beach Begs the Question: Will Anything Ever Change?

Can it really be? Another mass shooting. More lives senselessly lost. Where do we go from here? Is there any place to go or are we destined to continue to run around in circles in the classic fashion of and definition of insanity.

In the wake of Friday’s tragedy in Virginia Beach is it me or do things feel differently this time around? Certainly there was news coverage but somehow from traditional to social media the dialogue felt more muted – less passionate, less outraged. Is it because, this time, there were no children involved? Is it because such incidents seem to be happening more and more often? Are we becoming numb? Desensitized?

I would argue that the conversation feels different because many of us, as a society, feel helpless. That nothing we do or say makes a difference. That our voices are not being heard. Our politicians offer “thoughts and prayers” but those words have now become hollow and cliched. The majority of this country wants uniform gun control and background checks yet are routinely attacked by gun advocates, second amendment enthusiasts and the all-powerful NRA. We can’t have a thoughtful and productive dialogue because any potential back and forth is over and done before is gets started, lost in personal attacks and ground firmly stood on both sides of the argument. And so nothing changes.

I don’t have the answers but we can’t stop talking and certainly change must come. In the case of Virginia Beach, the murderer used a silencer. In other shootings, rapid-fire military style weapons have been used. The right to bear arms is one thing. Possessing the firepower to invade a third world country is quite another. I don’t know of any country in the world where less guns equates to more violence. We need to vote in politicians who will do the right thing. We should also be reminded of the famous words of The Declaration of Independence, which provides all of us with the right to: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That line, those words and that fact are not recited or considered enough. They are the essence of who we are and who we all should strive to be. Let’s talk. Let’s find compromise. Let’s save lives.