Editorial: Yes. We should politicize this

Daily Editorial Board

When is it time for mourning and when is it time for action?  Many debate this, internally, after a significant evil leaves an imprint upon society in the form of death and tragedy. Oct. 1, 2017 will forever be a day synonymous with bitterness and sullen memory. The events that took place this past Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas will forever live in infamy, as a shooter opened fired into a crowd of about 22,000 people from a 32nd floor window of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing over 50 people and injuring hundreds. While it shattered the hearts and disrupted the lives of many Americans, especially the hundreds of victims and their families, many mourned and others called for action, bringing a debate of how we should move forward from this event.

There is rhetoric urging people to keep politics out of the conversation and those who discuss solutions through legislative policy are often demonized — accused that they are trying to gain political advantage out of tragedy. ‘Too soon’ is scoffed at people to inform people them to quiet down, remain somber and respect the victims. No one wants to deny another’s right to remember the victims as they were. Events like Las Vegas are tragic, dampening and infuriating — hardly anyone can dispute that. However, if no solution comes to pass, we are also disrespecting the victims and their memory, by ensuring that attacks like this may happen in the future.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act in just two months. At the time the Act was passed, there were still bodies of victims trapped in the rubble of the Twin Towers, and cleanup of Ground Zero was not completed until May of 2002. If many had thought it was too soon to pass the act, given that all of the victims were not laid to rest, we could have had a similar attack in that time frame. In almost all other instances, when we identify a problem, we scramble to find a solution. If a driver strikes a pedestrian because there was no stop sign, we hurry to put one in to prevent future accidents. Whenever the subject is firearms, we wait for significant change that often does not come. Time after time, we watch these events happen but do little to remedy the situation. The recent shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, in Orlando, Fort Hood, and San Bernardino have offered little to no federal legislation, so when should we act upon these events?

Whether your views stand with conservatives, democrats or independents, the current set of laws are not working to the extent that we would like them to. Action through the political system is the best way to solve these disparities, and thus, one should never be shamed for trying to take action through government. We the people, and the representatives we choose, need to solve this problem. Nothing happens overnight, but with due process, we can honor the memories of the victims by ensuring action.