“Parents throughout the country live with the dread that the next lockdown at their child’s school won’t be a drill and that screams like those we heard on cellphones from classrooms at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will come from their own child’s classroom,” the New York Times is reporting in an editorial.
“The terror that has gripped their elected officials, however, is fear of the wealthy gun lobby, to which they have let themselves be held hostage for decades.
“But standing up to gun rights extremists and industry lobbyists can no longer be seen as an act of heroism that could lead to political suicide. It is an act of common sense that would bring our government under the control of its citizens.
“Hundreds have been killed in mass shootings at a high school in Littleton, Colo., a church in Charleston, S.C., an office party in San Bernardino, Calif., a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and elsewhere in the past 20 years. After 20 first graders and a half-dozen adults were slaughtered in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, it seemed that a line would be drawn in the sand. Enough was enough, people said. But nothing was done. People have been injured or killed in eight school shootings in the first seven weeks of 2018 alone.
“Though many Americans, and some elected officials, have taken a stand to stanch the epidemic of gun violence, the National Rifle Association and its congressional servants have been an unyielding obstacle to sensible reform.
“But the gun lobby’s stranglehold on our elected officials does not need to continue, if candidates stand up to the lobby and voters demand that they commit themselves to the sorts of changes that a vast majority of Americans want.
“With midterm elections coming up this fall, America has a chance to get that message across. Candidates must realize that reducing gun violence is a winning and moral issue. Aggressive turnout by voters who believe this can defeat the N.R.A. at the polls. Until then, the bloodshed will continue.”
The rest of the editorial is here.