Our land is soaked in blood -- from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Sanford, Florida to Newtown, Connecticut to Aurora, Colorado to Santa Barbara, California, and to countless points in between. There is only one reason that this is true. It isn't because of the gun manufacturers. It isn't because of the National Rifle Association. It isn't because of Congress.
It is because of us. Americans lack the moral outrage, the moral courage, to stand up and demand a righteous country. To stand up to corrupt, bought-and-paid-for politicians. To stand up to a craven gun organization. To stand up to the immoral profit mongers behind the weapons industry.
The idea that the United States is a shining example for other countries to emulate is nothing more than a joke at this point in time. No other country in the world guns down its people at the rate that our country does. And yet we don't take to the streets. We don't mow down the corruption at the ballot box. We don't strangle the profits of merchandisers. We don't humiliate the members of the NRA for their inhumane stanch, their assertion that their 'right' to guns of any type and any level of lethality trumps the right of our people to live.
Americans have forfeited any claim to the title of 'civilized'. We watch the slaying of other peoples' children and then quickly forget. It isn't our community, our family, our children. But it will be. And when the time comes that it is our community, our family, our child -- and that time will surely come -- we have nothing left to do but look in the mirror and say:
"I did that. I sacrificed my child on the altar of indifference. I looked the other way when it was someone else's child and now -- mine is gone."Even Michael Moore has grown weary of trying to engage us in the fury that should be ours. For the fifteen years since the shootings at Columbine High School, he has been waving a red flag in our faces, but we refused to recognize that the red flag was the American flag, dyed with the blood of innocents. When asked to comment on Friday night's shootings at Isla Vista, California, Moore said:
"I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life."Normal American life. Those words should chill us to the bone. It is normal -- normal -- for innocents across the United States to be gunned down mercilessly. Just cover up the bodies. The shooter is gone by his own hand, or that of the police. So move on to the next thing. The next thing.
Next. What is next? Whose neighborhood? Whose loved one? Whose school? Whose workplace? Because make no mistake: no one and no place in this whole wide country is safe from our indifference.
Are we willing to someday stand at a child's grave and tell the truth? Are we willing to say: "I did this"? Nothing less will suffice, but even this declaration -- to the depths of the grave, to the heights of the heavens, to the ears of our gods -- will fail to scour the crimson stain of guilt from our souls.