NO SAFE PLACE LEFT
When I was a kid I used to watch Westerns on TV. Not only did the good guys always win, but if a bad guy was shooting at someone and the person ran into a church, even the worst bad guy wouldn’t go in after them. Churches were sanctuaries, safe from even the most virulent criminals. It seems so far away now, and so naive.
The latest mass shooting, this time in a South Carolina Church, goes onto a long list — schools, movie theaters, shopping malls — and puts another name into our national psyche. Dylann Storm Roof, 21, who advertised to everyone how much he hated African-Americans and yet was given a gun for his birthday.
When a society has no more safe places, when churches are not the sanctuaries they are supposed to be, that society is crumbling from within. Today, President Obama said, “This type of mass shooting does not happen in other advanced countries.” He’s right, and it’s the 14th time he has had to come before us after someone who obtained a gun easily went on a killing spree.
The Republican candidates who are talking about “making this country great again” might want to get their balls out of the large hands of the NRA and realize that greatness comes from courage and compassion. There is nothing courageous or compassionate about a heavily armed society in which even the most mentally unbalanced people can find a way to get a gun. If America crumbles it probably won’t be from outside, but from within. And some of the people responsible are barely old enough to vote.