Beginning with the Columbine massacre 6,905 days ago, our country has spent too much of the past two decades reliving a vicious cycle.
A shooter murders innocent people, often on a school or college campus.
Our nation grieves. Changes in gun laws are demanded. Nothing happens.
Time passes — very little time, in some cases — before it plays out all over again.
The Parkland, Fla., tragedy of last month seems different from those before it — we say seems because it’s too early to tell how widespread the changes will end up being.
There are signs this time is different, though.
Despite opposition from the mighty NRA — the organization has since filed a lawsuit — Florida adopted new standards, the most noticeable of which raises the minimum gun-buying age from 18 to 21. This from the state that has perhaps the most lenient measures nationwide related to the use of justifiable deadly force.
Led by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, some retail outlets decided they wouldn’t sell firearms to anyone younger than 21 — and, in the case of Dick’s, any assault-style weapons at all.
However, the most significant development to happen in the month since 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is the response of students nationwide.
Teenagers are fed up with the violence.
On Wednesday, students from thousands of schools nationwide, including many in our area, commemorated the Parkland shooting with a 17-minute recognition of some sort. It was their way of saying, “We are paying attention, and we are not going to let this issue go away. Enough already.”
Americans, young and old alike, are worn out from people dying for no reason and a grieving process that never seems to end.