The pain caused by the death of a single innocent person at the hand of a lunatic is unthinkable; multiply that by dozens and it becomes unimaginable. Make the murder weapon a gun and the result is a fury that spreads across the country like wildfire, setting off savage arguments and debates over gun control. At that point it becomes political, and as we have learned in recent years that’s the occasion for an unforgiveable lack of action on the part of our nation’s leadership. The horrors of mass murders at schools, restaurants and other public places date back farther than most people realize, but they became a relentless ongoing issue with the Columbine High School massacre in April, 1999, which resulted in the deaths of 12 students and one teacher and injuries to 21 others and seemed to set off an ongoing outcry for gun control and greater awareness of mental health issues. Twenty years and the presidencies of two Democrats and two Republicans later nothing has been done to advance either. Not even the slaughter of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the sixth anniversary of which just passed, could move the needle. And then came Parkland. The mass shooting on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left 17 students dead and many others seriously injured, brought on the usual gasbagging in the media and in Washington, D.C., and renewed fears of endless arguing with no outcome. But in the immediate aftermath two inspiring things happened.
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