America is living in insanity. Guns are out of control in our society, and we are waiting for something to be done. Our children are killing our children. Racism is on the rise. Antisemitism is on the rise. Hate crimes are on the rise.  

Our children are violent as they live in a violent culture. The young are becoming robots working in isolation as they live with Facebook, Instagram and TicTok in reality and algorithms. These are their social influencers with no rules and regulations.  

And we, the people, live in fear, no matter what stage of life, work, income, neighborhood, or city. We are living in fear. We are blaming politicians and the government. At best, they can put measures in place, but there will always be crazy, lone, wild, evil and sick people in our midst. At best, the politicians can provide controls and structure. But a fool is a fool, hate is hate and evil exists.  

Shamefully, I tell you, I went to the grocery store recently, and as I saw young white men, I was sure to get behind them and observe. Another Black woman saw me make a back-up move in the produce department, and she did the same.  

In about five minutes, five Black women with shopping carts were allowing white young men in front of us and overseeing them. We nodded at each other. Shameful. I was very limited in my purchases, trying to keep one hand free at all times. The killings in Buffalo, N.Y., at the Tops Friendly Grocer were top of mind.

New Reality

Where are the lawmakers when we need them?  We need new laws. And we need new members of Congress. Gun violence in this society is not a white or Black issue. It is not a Democratic or Republican issue.  It is not a South or North issue. It is not a city or rural issue. It is an American issue. 

We are not handling this problem very well with SOLUTIONS. We are appalled at the shootings that continue to dominate the news cycle. We cover the shooting. We are sad and shocked in disbelief as we ask how this could happen; however, now the question is, how could this happen again?  

We interview the victim’s families. We place the blame. We examine what happened in the first blush of news coverage and then follow up with details. We address the shooter with life facts. We call for thoughts and prayers. We cover the funerals. We report and report and report. We talk to local politicians. We speak to experts to discuss what happened and how it could have been prevented. We look in hindsight. We compare it to past incidents as newscasters sometimes ask stupid questions of the traumatized victims’ loved ones.

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But we do nothing. We discuss gun control issues. We discuss the power and money of the National Rifle Association (NRA). WE do nothing. We return to normal.  The families suffer as they adjust to a new normal that comes with the painful loss of a loved one that they will never get over. 

Parents and loved ones will become strong advocates for new gun laws. They speak to others about loss, grief, and adjustment. We return to normal and do nothing until the next mass shooting occurs. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.   

A mass shooting is a killing of four or more. We even cry in our living rooms.  We hold our children tighter. We tell those we love that we love them more. We worry our loved ones — especially our children — will be killed at school, at the grocery store or at church. We squirm. We take notice. We do nothing.    

America needs to be outraged. Every member of Congress should be publicly asked what they would do about gun control. Next question: Do you accept money from the NRA?  They need to be identified. Voters need to make judgments.

Our children are violent

They are entertained by violence.  Some of the music they listen to is violent and some of their games are violent, focused on killing.  So, they are being taught violence.  

Our children curse and they shoot as they demean with disregard for life. The word “fuck” is not a bad word anymore. Everyone uses it for self-expression, out loud on television. Well, f— the guns. 

And it seems that some of the young white men are being taught hatred, violence and killing. What is this? Is it a white privilege? Is it white aggression? Is it craziness? White young men are engaging in massacres. Why are they so damn angry? They are even prepared to die for their sick cause, as they come not only armed, but suited up with body armor from head to toe for protection.   

The security guard at the grocery store in Buffalo shot the shooter, but his armor protected him. But the guard was killed.  Sometimes these killers are killed on the spot; occasionally, they commit suicide after their massacre.  

Black boys are also violent, and multiple stereotypes face them. They shoot and kill with one-on-one crimes. They shoot randomly in the crowd like they are in a shooting gallery. They engage in street crimes, carjacking, theft, shoplifting, etc.  

We profile Black boys. They are poor, undereducated, jobless and are affected by poor parenting or living with a single parent.  Many think outside forces supply Black inner-city boys with guns.    

But white boy killers? They usually come from middle class two-parent homes who are educated and have great opportunities in life. So what makes them killers? Where is this study? Their parents buy them guns and war weapons. They buy them assault weapons for presents. What is the message here with such a gift? 

Change the gun laws

So, what do we do?  We change the gun laws.  You should NOT be able to buy a gun until you are 25 years old.  Assault weapons should be illegal.  There is no need for a citizen to have a weapon designed for war.  

An assault weapon is a military weapon with an “intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine.”  The purchase of ammunition should be limited. These shooters have an excessive amount of ammo. It would help if you only were allowed a limited amount of ammo during a single purchase. Just like the ways stores limited toilet paper sales during the pandemic or baby formula at the time of shortage. Guns should NOT be sold on the internet. 

Too often, in these mass murder incidents, the shooter is better armed than the police officers who are called as first responders.

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Perhaps this is the reality of the shooting at the Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The latest reports say that the police made an error by not going into the school immediately. They waited an hour for backup. 

Little children called for help, telling the operators there was a shooter in their classroom. The shooter had a war weapon. The police continued to wait for backup. The police officers live with fear, too, inspired by their training and oath to protect.

What do we do?

We are at a place in society where people will buy firearms for protection. Parents are going to fight back. Teachers and principals are going to fight back; their jobs are dangerous. Do we want teachers and principals armed? Shamefully, we have to begin teaching our little innocent beautiful children how to run and hide from a shooter in a classroom.  Some schools have shooting drills just like fire drills. We are teaching children how to live in a war-like environment. This is unrealistic.  

The supermarket murders in Buffalo  were a racist attack by an 18-year-old white boy. He was hunting Black people. It was planned and researched. He knew what he was doing.  He was well prepared. Murder was his purpose and intent.  He believed in the replacement theory, where Black and Jewish people would replace white people. He was deranged.

The murders in Uvalde are the third-deadliest mass shooting in Texas history. A 2017 shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas killed 26 people. Two years later, 23 people were killed at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

The 2015 shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., was done by a 21-year-old white male supremacist. He killed people who invited him in to join their bible study. The police officers took him alive, arrested him and took him to a Burger King before going to the police station to press charges. He was placed on suicide watch.  

At Sandy Hook Elementary School, 26 children, most between the ages of five and six, in Newtown, Conn in 2012.  The students were Jewish.The school was torn down to forget the crime site, but the parent’s pain is forever, knowing that all they did was send their child to school one day, and they never returned home.  

At the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, an antisemitic terrorist attack killed 11 and wounded six in 2018. It was the deadliest attack ever on a Jewish community in the United States.  

Do you see a pattern here?  

America is living in insanity. It must stop. F— the guns.

is the president and CEO of Chicago-based Hartman Publishing Group. She also publishes N’DIGO weekly newsmagazine.