Nothing to offer but despair after another mass shooting

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
February 15, 2018 - 5:26am Updated: February 15, 2018 - 11:05am

KAMLOOPS — Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.

That’s when men of all ages sheepishly line up in supermarkets and buy gaudy bouquets.

It’s a day of love, when we express the joy we give and receive from one another.

Yesterday, 17 people — maybe more by the time you’re reading this — — were slaughtered in a Florida high school by a 19-year-old former student.

Of course, the analysts were working overtime last night trying to explain it. The TV networks, while warning us that video of the shooting was difficult to watch, nonetheless played it over and over, and over.

The politicians talk about refusing to give in to violence. Thoughts and prayers are offered.

Gun control, for the thousandth time, is up for debate.

I’m sick of it all.

In Journalism school, I had a professor who drilled into his students that when we wrote editorials we must not only criticize and analyse, but offer solutions.

“Rothenburger!” he’d say, “You’re pretty good at writing about what’s wrong with the world, but what do you suggest should be done about it?!”

So what’s the answer to this newest horror? Stop selling guns to people with mental illnesses? Stop selling guns period? Censor the media?

It seems like we kill each other at the slightest provocation. For cutting each other off in our cars. For being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The young Florida killer was mad because he’d been expelled from the school.

Columbine isn’t even in the top 10 any more for the number of people killed in a single shooting.

A few months ago when I wrote about banning the AR-15 — the same gun used by yesterday’s killer — there was no shortage of people to talk about how Canada is different than the U.S., but I’m not so sure we’re all that far behind anymore.

There seems no end of people who want to hurt other people.

I have no answer, no wisdom to offer. I have nothing.

Just despair.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.