How can nation accept cold-blooded murders?

In May 2000, I was part of the “Million Mom March” on Washington. Our slogan was “sensible gun laws, safe kids.” Twelve years later, despite high hopes and expectations, despite hundreds of thousands of marchers and numerous inspirational speeches, we still do not have sensible gun laws and our children are far from safe.

We have been conditioned to expect mass shootings to be as inevitable as the next sunrise and told that nothing can be done. We have been let down by our lawmakers, who are more concerned about the next election than about the well-being of those they represent. The assault weapons ban was allowed to expire, and deficiencies in screening gun buyers allow potential murderers to buy assault rifles without background checks.

Obviously, other issues need to be addressed as well, such as better access to mental health treatment and more stringent security at schools and other public places, but the most pressing need is to confront the fact that nowhere else on earth do the angry, the deranged, the violent individuals on the fringes of our society have such unfettered access to weapons of mass human destruction.

If the cold-blooded murder of 20 beautiful children and the six brave women who tried to save them is not enough to do whatever it takes to stop this carnage, then we as a nation have truly lost our way.

Ilsa Cooper