The sad, sad truth is that I can pen a story like this every day. It’s not that I’m that creative; it’s that the values our society place on human life offer me the opportunity every day to write about another tragedy that could have been prevented. This particular tragedy happened in the subways of New York.
Alligators in the subways has been a folk tale, legend, irrational fear for almost a century in New York city. As scary as confronting a prehistoric animal that is mostly teeth and claws in an enclosed space is, there is something even scarier and more likely to occur to the average commuter. It occurred again this week. A man armed with a gun, smoke bombs and other implements chosen to harm and harass, opened fire on the unsuspecting crowds of peaceful citizens on their way to work.
Thirty-three bullets were fired in a matter of seconds. In an enclosed space with limited ingress and egress, ten passengers were wounded. More than a dozen other passengers were treated for smoke inhalation or injuries sustained in the melee. The fact that no one died is a miracle. Counting on luck and poor marksmanship is not something the average commuter should have to presume in their daily regimen.
In a small twist of coincidence, the shooter began his rampage one day after President Biden signed the ghost gun bill into law. Hoping to do something to stem the tide of violence in our country, the President gathered support for putting an end to the industry that’s business model is to put untraceable weapons in the hands of those who would want to have an untraceable weapon. Let that marinate for a second.
Ironically, the subway shooter did his deed with a weapon that he had purchased legally and was traceable back to him. Within hours law enforcement knew who they were looking for. “The system works” you might say. No, not really. A man that had multiple run-ins with the law, clearly has a mental health issue and by the accounts of his social media was primed to act out, was allowed to own a gun legally. What compelling interest did he have that he needed a gun to resolve? Were the voices in his head yelling too loud?
The Universal background check hopes to put an end to all of the loopholes that gun purchasers are happily skipping through now. The House passed the bill last year and it is currently languishing in the Senate. A Gallup poll in 2018 proved that 92% of us want stronger gun laws. I will ask the question somewhat rhetorically because we all know why. “Why won’t the Senate Republicans vote for stronger control laws when their constituency clearly wants them to?”
If only every American parent had the ability to buy a Senator instead of a bulletproof backpack. Unfortunately buying a Senator takes big money and that factor alone allows the carnage to continue year after year after year. Guns are the leading cause of death for children under 19 in America. Every year 2100 children are killed and 1300 commit suicide by gun. How can these numbers be acceptable? How can our elected leaders continue to ignore the facts of our loose gun laws and not at least vote to keep guns out of the hands of the crazies?
Sadly, we all know that finding a Republican that would vote in favor of gun control legislation would be like finding an alligator in the subway. Possible, but…..