Individuals who will receive the assistance include victims, their families, medical personnel, first responders, concert staff, and vendors.
The funds will be employed for counseling, therapy, rehabilitation, trauma recovery, and legal aid.
I think that’s wonderful and I don’t begrudge a cent of it. Nor am I upset about the millions donated, often by private individuals, for those suffering from other shooting tragedies, including Pulse, Parkland, and Sandy Hook. Money can never undo the pain of those incidents, but perhaps it can alleviate some of the suffering.
I’ve always been impressed with the response of many of our leaders at all levels of government.
They send their thoughts.
They offer their prayers.
They facilitate the collection of funds.
And many suggest a solution to the increasingly frequent deaths caused by firearms: More guns! It’s obvious, isn’t it? If more of us “good” guys had guns, we’d take out the “bad” guys in seconds and save huge numbers of lives. I’ll come back to this in a bit, but let me deviate for a moment.
Every day I read of shootings where a single person dies. Or maybe it’s three or five, much too small a number to make the national news these days. As I consider the massive calamities mentioned previously, I can’t help thinking about these “lesser” ones, wondering what are the basic differences.
Is the victim any less dead?
Are the families any less devastated?
Is the need for counseling any less urgent?
Is the financial repercussion any less dire?
I think not, but there is no concerted special effort to offer the help these victims and families need. And there are over 30,000 of them in our country every year!
I think I have a solution, and it should please those legislators who believe more guns is the answer to this national problem.
I suggest that every state enact a law that provides a substantial subsidy, perhaps $500,000, to every innocent victim of gun violence or the mourning family. So a state that has 1000 gun related deaths, not an unheard of number, would be out 500 million dollars.
Surely our stalwart gun-loving legislators would endorse such a plan with enthusiasm. It would be a win-win situation for them for two reasons.
First, they can thump their chests and brag about how much they care for those who have suffered an incident.
Second, they can tout how little the cost has been since their policy of more guns has caused the number of shooting deaths to have plummeted.
Unless they are wrong, and the availability of more guns does not reduce casualties. Then, just maybe, we could all see the truth of this sickness affecting our nation in a measure more easily understood by those in power: money.
So, my good legislators, do you have the courage of your convictions enough to pass such legislation? I bet not.