Thanksgiving break is a time to relax, eat good food, enjoy time with friends and family. It’s a time for celebration, gratitude, and simply being in the company of those who you care about. But on Friday in Colorado Springs, many were snapped out of the holiday trend after the tragic shooting at a Planned Parenthood center. The 57-year old shooter arrived at the facility Friday morning and was finally apprehended five hours later. Three people, including police officer, Garrett Swasey, and two civilians were killed in the attack. Nine other people were injured. While the shooter’s motive hasn’t explicitly been stated, he had “expressed anti-abortion and anti-government views,” and most likely targeted the clinic for the nature of their services.
What makes this tragedy so disturbing–besides the obvious–is that it occurred right after Thanksgiving, when people should be with their loved ones, not terrified for their safety. A clinic is where people should feel safe to get care, not be targeted. Even worse, is this shooting part of a recurring trend in the U.S.?
On Saturday, President Obama made a statement about this shooting and the several others that have plagued the country, saying “We can’t let it become normal. If we truly care about this . . . then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough.”
Just what sort of state are we in when our president has to urge us to not let mass shootings become normal? The nation has racked up over three hundred mass shootings in 2015 so far, yet there have still been few significant changes to our gun control policies. Even now, the chances of the Republican-controlled Congress making the changes the President is calling for is extremely slim.
What does that say about our people, our laws, and our country as a whole?