Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old White man from Mesquite, Nevada, was identified as the gunmen in one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history. Paddock fired on the crowd at a country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. (Wikimedia Commons)

Since the founding of America, its people have had an inexplicable predilection for both possessing and using guns, even including the “right to bear arms” as an essential guarantee for all U.S. citizens.

But we can’t help but wonder if the Founding Fathers and those who subsequently picked up the torch had something else in mind as the Constitution and later amendments were adopted than what we’ve seen in recent history.

Even one with a third-grade education has to see the need for greater gun restrictions, no matter what powerful lobbying groups like the NRA and right-wing provocateurs may say. And yet, time after time, whenever senseless examples of gun violence occur – from Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech to Aurora, Charleston and Orlando – we seem more inclined to hold candlelight vigils and set up shrines with teddy bears and messages of love than actually doing something that will make a difference.

In 2017, close to 12,000 people have already lost their lives due to guns including several dozen children who are shot and injured daily. Meanwhile, our lawmakers, who could do something to protect U.S. citizens, remain seemingly paralyzed.

So, we point the blame for these unending examples of violence on mental illness, domestic violence, racism, fanatical members of Islam or as President Trump said when speaking on the gunman responsible for the deaths of close to 60 and injuries of over 500 others as an act of “evil.” Our leaders seek ways to justify the mayhem and madness but do nothing to invoke significant change.

Gun violence continues to escalate in America, with shootings becoming increasingly deadly and with the numbers of victims rising to new levels. Yet, we look for ways to explain away why those elected to protect their constituencies feel that their hands are tied.

Many Americans now believe that incidents of gun violence are an inevitable reality. They think that nothing can be done to better protect citizens – even if those being massacred are elementary school children in Sandy Hook. We categorically disagree.

How many more innocent men, women and children must be attacked and killed before America collectively says, “enough is enough?” Guns kill. That’s a reality. And from what we can see, there’s nothing that will decrease the random attacks that have become commonplace in the U.S., unless laws are changed and those who take up arms against the innocent are held accountable.

The time for discussions and town hall exchanges have long passed. America is in trouble. And we’re tired of being forced to allow Russian roulette to be part and parcel of our country’s reality.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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