Shane Dunaway: Less thoughts and prayers, more action

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 11, 2022

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As much as I’ve hoped our country would get to a point where we say, “Enough is enough!” when it comes to rampart gun violence and mass shootings, I’ve come to expect and anticipate our political leaders, particularly the ones on the right, to stay content with the status quo and do nothing.

How quickly they go from “thoughts and prayers” to treating the victims of these tragic events as afterthoughts as our country waits for the next wave of blood to spill before the previous victims have even been laid to rest.

They attempt to make violent video games and movies the scapegoat and balk at even the mere suggestion of requiring someone to take a safety course or have a clean bill of health mentally in order to own a gun.

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They’re the “All Lives Matter” or the pro-life party, unless doing something about the loss of life makes guns less accessible to “law-abiding citizens.”

First, let’s cut the nonsense. If prospective gun owners have a clean record with the law and their mental health is in a place where they can be trusted with the responsibility of gun ownership, then common sense gun control measures shouldn’t impact them in the slightest.

You know what would affect them greatly? Some maladjusted psychopath with a gun shooting them up in the grocery store when all they wanted was a bag of potato chips.

Second, violent video games don’t kill people. You can’t load a 30-round magazine into an Xbox. The best shot you have at killing a person with a video game is by either making them choke to death on the wrapper or trying to throw the game disc at them like it’s a shuriken – both scenarios highly unlikely or improbable.

As Americans and those who aspire to be an American, we all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. While that liberty does include both responsible gun ownership and the right to play whatever video game I so chose, it also includes us having the right to go out into a public space without fear of being shot in the face.

It’s time for politicians to step up and offer us a more tangible solution. We’ve been placing our hopes in “thoughts and prayers” for more than two decades, so the likelihood of divine intervention is pretty slim. Stop waiting for God to do a job the people voted for you to do.

If you’re in politics and your only action when it comes to gun violence is offering “thoughts and prayers,” then you should get the hell out of office and out of the way of progress so someone who has the integrity, courage and conviction to bring a solution to the table can do so.

How many lives of adults and children must be lost for you to take action? Can you take a break from talking about zygotes and allegedly-stolen elections long enough to consider safety courses for gun owners, proper safeguarding of firearms not in use and other measures that could lessen the frequency of mass shootings?

We’re past time for thoughts and prayers.

It’s time for action.