It’s hard to know which is greater: The sorrow or the anger.
Sorrow in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre is undeniable.
Senseless loss of life, a murderous intent driven by cynical brutality, a toxic stew on an October night, all of those will ripple for months and years.
Those lives not lost have been forever changed.
But the anger is just as great or greater.
As a nation, we have been down this road before.
In fact, we’ve been down it so many times that it has begun to feel horribly routine.
And yet our lawmakers — the folks we elect who are paid tax dollars to establish policy for the benefit of the nation — are largely paralyzed.
Those that have not been bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association cower in fear that the NRA might come out against them in the next election campaign.
So they share their “thoughts and prayers” and they sit on their hands. They hold onto their jobs and try to ignore the bloodshed.
And if that’s not a deal with the devil, we’ve never heard of one.
To be clear, this is not a partisan issue. There are plenty of cowards on both sides of the aisle.
But with a little backbone from both Republicans and Democrats, there ought to be a way to move forward on this endlessly contentious issue. There ought to be a way to establish some sensible, reasonable limits on firearms in this country.
Mass murder shouldn’t become the “new normal” in the greatest country on earth.
Reasonable people should be able to balance public safety and individual rights.
So, where to start?
•Banning kits that allow the conversion of semi-automatic weapons into virtual automatic weapons.
•Dumping the ridiculous legislative proposal that would legalize silencers, making every police officer in the U.S. more vulnerable.
•Getting rid of add-ons that allow for hundreds of rounds to be fired at a time.
•Re-instituting limits on gun ownership by those who have been determined to be mentally incapable of handling their own affairs.
Would that make a difference? Yes, it would.
Would it make another massacre like Las Vegas impossible? Sadly, it would not.
But it beats the pious mumblings about “thoughts and prayers.”