By The Editorial Board, www.nytimes.comView OriginalNovember 6th, 2017
Orlando, Dallas, Las Vegas, and now Sutherland Springs. Each location has only recently experienced an unthinkable tragedy at the hands of a mass murderer and his guns. The latest, in the small Texas town, involved a man reportedly using a rifle to kill at least 26 people while they worshipped. Beyond these tragedies, which understandably seize the public’s attention, are dozens more in cities around America – nearly one per day.
Still, Republicans leaders in Congress do nothing. Or, really, so far they’ve done the same thing they have always done: offered thoughts and prayers. Tomorrow, then, will surely bring warnings not to “politicize” a tragedy by debating gun controls that might prevent such mass killings from happening again.
“We are not going to talk about that today,” President Trump told reporters in the days that followed the Las Vegas shooting, where 58 people were killed.
“I think it’s premature to be discussing legislative solutions if there are any,” the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said.
If now is too soon to debate gun control, how long must Americans wait?
Since the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Tex. 26 killed
When Republican leaders have responded to past killings, their response was to block sensible, useful gun control. They should not be allowed to delay effective legislation any longer. Too many days have passed, from one tragedy to the next. This is the time.
To Republicans in Congress who might feel uneasy about responding to this tragedy with laws that might prevent the next one, we offer this grim reference. Rather than responding to Sutherland Springs, act as though the legislation was responding to the mass shootings in Las Vegas, Dallas, Orlando, San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Chattanooga, Charleston, Marysville, Isla Vista, Fort Hood, Santa Monica, or Sandy Hook Elementary School, to name a few.
If it is too soon to respond to Sutherland Springs, is it too soon to respond to these?
Since the shooting in Las Vegas 58 killed and more than 450 injured
Since the shooting in Dallas 5 killed
Since the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando 49 killed
Since the shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. 14 killed
Since the shooting in Colorado Springs 3 killed
Since the shooting in Roseburg, Ore. 10 killed
Since the shooting in Chattanooga, Tenn. 5 killed
Since the shooting in Charleston, S.C. 9 killed
Since the shooting at Fort Hood 3 killed
Since the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard 12 killed
Since the shooting in Santa Monica, Calif. 5 killed
Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School 26 killed
It’s Not Too Soon to Debate Gun Control