September 11, 2001: 19 terrorists kill 3,000 people triggering the ‘War on Terror’ with multi-trillion dollar wars leading to more than a million deaths, mass government re-organization, the use of torture and drones, and inane civil liberties curtailments and outright racist policies enshrined into law to defend against terrorism.
Today: Guns kill Americans in droves, day in and day out like the sun rises each morning. Terror is ever present for too many in simple acts of going to school, enjoying a movie, or just walking a city street. Trauma lingers for the thousands left wounded and without loved ones; these are lifelong scars. There’s been no response besides empty expressions of sadness. Everyone prays, but few move their feet to stop the hemorrhaging of our fellow human beings at the hands of these terrorists: those wielding guns.
Yet, even universal background checks or limiting the sale of military-grade weapons is too much for those who worship not God, but the holy Gun. Those who support gun rights without restriction make daily offerings to the Gun on the altar of the misunderstood, and deliberately misrepresented, Second Amendment. They want Americans to accept that gun violence is standard and the cost of ‘freedom,’ but what is freedom when thousands of children won’t live to graduate school and grow into adulthood.
Today’s shooting at the Columbia Mall in Howard County, Maryland keeps up America’s streak for 2014; a half-dozen school shootings so far and gun violence everywhere else we work and live. 30,000+ people are victims of gun violence every year, repeating the September 11th terrorist attacks ten times annually ad infinitum until something changes.
To be clear, September 11th was an awful day and one which demanded a response, even if we can’t all agree on how best to respond. Why though, does this true terrorism of gun violence at foot in America persist unimpeded by even the simplest efforts to stop 30,000+ deaths each year?