Published On: Sun, Oct 8th, 2017

Now is not the time to Mourn, It is time to Act

By: C. Ron Allen

I am beginning to sound like a broken record. Literally. Those of you who have followed me over the years can almost write my column this week.

Another deranged, or should I say sick, a human being is responsible for snuffing the life of nearly 60 people and injuring hundreds of others at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night.

The 2,000 plus attendees at this country music event went there to have a good time. This was supposed to be a fun event but the outcome was far from what they expected.

Dreams were dashed, hopes shattered and only faded memories left behind after Stephen Paddock rained fire with some high-powered weapons on the crowd.

Police say he killed himself before they could get to him.

What will it take to put an end to these types of atrocities?

All too often we see whenever there is a mass shooting, our elected leaders lower flags, tweet thoughts, and prayers, observe moments of silence and lead national mourning. And oftentimes before the bodies are even in the ground, it is back to business as usual. Nothing is done to prevent a reoccurrence.

Somehow, it appears our leaders’ blind spots become so apparent in moments of crisis.

What we need most of all now, is not mourning. We need action from you the readers – not the politicians.

It is time to get over the amnesia, stop shaking your heads but get registered to vote if you have not done so yet, encourage a friend or family member to do the same. And on election day, whether there is a general election or not, vote for leaders who will not just fire off a tweet, observe a moment of silence, present a flag to a grieving loved one and then do nothing after. Cast your precious ballot for someone who is willing to make tough decisions despite pressure from less than 5 percent of the population.

I am reminded of the grisly images of the murder of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and right here in our backyard, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Clearly people bearing arms is not the problem. The issue is guns being in the wrong hands. When will this carnage end?

Someone suggested to me earlier today that if we start meddling with the 2nd Amendment, pretty soon our elected leaders will start infringing on our freedom of speech. They fear that an effort to save lives will come at too high a price in liberty.

I think there are exceptions to this argument, which has to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. There are times when individual freedom must yield to the imperatives of public safety.

Let us not make this a 2nd amendment conversation. This is a security issue.

We also need to keep politics out of the conversation and focus on innocent lives that are lost each time we have one of these incidents.

I am also reminded of the San Bernardino shootings when Islamic extremists killed 14 people in 2015.  Our leaders immediately led a ferocious assault on terrorists.

I wonder if Paddock was a Muslim, or had been a member of ISIS would the dialogue be the same as it is today.

It is interesting however whenever there is a mass shooting by someone whose place of origin is somewhere other than the United States, there is a push for laws to ban certain weapons or accessories and restrict access to guns. On the other hand, when he shooter is one of our own, such as Sandy Hook or this week’s shooting, some leaders push for defending personal rights.

While there are no magic wands and laws to put an end to the massacre, something needs to be done.

For now, we need to step up and speak up and let out thoughts be known because just like it happened in Las Vegas and Orlando it could happen right here in our community.

So, go ahead and mourn. But even more important, you need to act.

C. Ron Allen can be reached at crallen@Delraybeachtribune.come or 561-665-0151.

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