Accountability, in seriously short supply before last week, remains so even after the massacre Aurora, Colorado is now trying to fathom. It is not a moment too soon to say that as a nation and as a gathering of communities, we are miserably failing both the perpetrators and, as a result, the victims of such massacres.
Time and time again civic, community, and business leaders are day-late and a dollar-short, providing trite jeremiads about violent entertainment media or exploiting the tragedy to promote their pet cause in some ongoing culture war. In what has now become a periodic sacrifice of innocents for the apathetic bliss of a nation, we are complicit in the following areas: first, given the depraved scope of the crime, we refuse to acknowledge how crucial is the effort to protect all children from physical torment or humiliation.
As a nation, and within our communities, we have yet to acknowledge that no individual treated with nurturing love and respect that he or she deserved as a child, is capable of treachery like that wrought upon Aurora. One needs only to observe the magnitude of carnage to imagine what trauma could have warped a psyche so driven to commit these unspeakable acts. Our failure to protect children runs the risk of molding 'sleeper agents' capable of the slaughter movie goers endured in Aurora.
Second, and just as consequential, is when public sentiment caves in to the firearms industry's resistance to reform. As usual, gun makers and vendors prevail over gun control efforts. The National Rifle Association's sanctimonious messaging on the Bill of Rights' Second Amendment provides bullet-proof ideological cover for the ease and accountability-free purchase and possession of guns. Indeed, a $4.1 billion industry is at stake.
So, what possible solution could we piece together to restore public safety and relieve the anxiety of gun owners?