Another Mass Shooting; Expect Nothing to Happen

Last week 10 people were gunned down at a Buffalo supermarket in what appears to be a racist attack. Yesterday, 19 children and two adults were murdered in a Texas elementary school. In both cases the killer was a young man with a military-style weapon that nobody outside of the military should be able to own.

In a piece of commentary more powerful than most, the Onion reuses the same headline after every mass shooting: “Nothing can be done about this, says only nation in which this regularly happens.”

The answer is as clear as it is impossible: with exceptions for police and military use, ban the manufacture, sale and possession of automatic weapons and handguns everywhere in America. If the Second Amendment is in the way of that, then repeal the God damned Second Amendment.

The manufacture, sale and possession of this for civilian purposes should be outlawed.

But that, of course, will not happen. In fact, it is almost a lock certainty that nothing at all will happen. It’s not that there isn’t plenty of public support for modest gun control laws, like universal background checks and red flag laws (over 70% of gun owners support those) but the age-old problem is that all of the passion on this issue is on the wrong side. Those who oppose even small, sensible steps are rabid in their opposition. They vote on that one issue alone, while the majority that favors some gun controls has a lot of other things on its mind.

That changes after incidents like this, but the gun lobby just runs out the clock, passions subside and the issue goes away until the next time.

The one thing that might change this time is that these murders happened relatively close to the November elections. Maybe, combined with the impending overturning of Roe v. Wade, this will be enough to motivate the Democratic base to turn out and moderate suburban voters to vote for Democrats. If the Dems could pick up enough seats in the Senate and hold the House, they could reform or remove the filibuster and pass some gun control laws. That is only a very remote possibility, but it is the only thing I can see that offers any hope at all.

Look, I’m a gun owner. I own a 30.06 deer hunting rifle and a shot gun. Weapons like that should remain legal because they are legitimate hunting guns. They could be used to kill people, but they’re not built for that. You could not kill 10 people in a grocery store or 19 kids in their classrooms with guns like these. Handguns (which are used mostly for suicides) and semi-automatic military style weapons have no place at all in our society.

No matter. As long as guns remain a senseless symbol of freedom to millions of rabid gun owners, nothing will change. This will happen again.


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

5 thoughts on “Another Mass Shooting; Expect Nothing to Happen

  1. Within a few days of the slaughter of innocent children and teachers, the NRA is holding their annual gun fest in Texas at which they will worship the almighty firearm, including those guns whose sole purpose is to instantly kill dozens of people. Yet, they acknowledge that guns don’t belong everywhere. You see, their hero, Donald J. Trump, loser, is speaking at the gathering and all firearms are prohibited in the room. ‘It’s not the NRA!’, they scream. ‘It’s the Secret Service!’ Well, why aren’t they running to the Courts to protect their God-given Second Amendment rights? Or, why doesn’t Snowflake Trump tell the Secret Service that guns can be permitted? After all, the room will be chock-full of ‘Good Guys’. I guess the bumper sticker should read, From My Cold, Dead Hands…Or If Trump Says No Guns.


  2. Repeal the 2nd amendment? I can tell you’re thinking carefully about the issue Dave, not.

    Do you think deranged people like these killers will follow laws?

    I can see no justification for semi-automatic weapons, but handguns are useful for self-defense.

    Democrats picking up seats in November? Time to put the pipe down Dave. Need another reason why? Here you go:

    TOPLINE The Biden administration on Tuesday announced plans to suspend oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) pending a “comprehensive” environmental review, pumping the breaks on a career-long policy effort of key Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

    While a review is maybe a good idea, doing it now it exactly wrong.


  3. My very young niece is home from school for a few days. After a mass shooting the big kids on the bus talk about it, upsetting the little kids. An entire generation is growing up with the imagery of “I could get mowed down in school today and apparently because my country alone allows people to own the weapons that makes this possible.” That’s a helluva price to pay for the poorly organized militia, I.e., not the one mentioned in the 2nd amendment.


  4. Banning alcohol and drugs has been so effective I am sure banning guns will work just as well. Even if we could ban the sale of new guns, there are millions already in the hands of people. Will you be willing to knock of the door of the gun owner Dave, if you could identify them, and ask that person to give you their gun? I am sure they will gladly give it to you.


    1. There are somewhere between 300 and 400 million guns in this country. You don’t think that’s too many? And as for confiscating guns I admitted that my preference for outlawing the possession of handguns and semi-automatics and for repealing the Second Amendment was fantasy. Nonetheless, every other first world democracy functions perfectly well — and with far less carnage — without a Second Amendment.


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