The cable news morning shows were predictable before the sun rose Thursday. They resembled the day after Las Vegas, San Bernadino, Orlando and Newtown.
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”: Easy access to semi-automatic rifles is to blame. Congress is gutless for not doing anything. The National Rifle Association is about gun sales, not gun safety.
Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends”: The suspect’s social media accounts showed the warning signs. Friends and former classmates should have alerted authorities. It’s about the mental illness, not the gun.
Both themes have merit, but refuse to acknowledge the other side of the debate.
Surely we can find some middle ground before the next mass shooting. We haven’t yet.
Seventeen people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday afternoon by a gunman with, authorities said, an AR-15 rifle and several clips of ammunition. Law enforcement said the gunman was a former student.
Not telling Washington reporters how to do their jobs here, but the first question anytime a microphone is in front of a lawmaker should be, “There’s a school shooting every other day in America, what are you going to do about it?” Or, “We have a mass shooting epidemic in this country, what are you doing about it?”
Then we, the voters, need to tell them whether their answers are acceptable.
The Parkland suspect had the legal right to buy a semi-automatic rifle and ammunition. The AR-15 is an increasingly popular gun. The NRA says Americans own 8 million of them.
All those things are true.
Also true: Students ran to safety past classmates’ lifeless bodies Wednesday.
So will THIS be the tragedy that brings a nation and a Congress together to find ways of ending this madness?
I’m afraid I know the answer.