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A Display of Tragedy 


There have been many mass shootings in recent years; the largest being the Las Vegas shooting last fall with 59 fatalities and another 422 injured and the most recent being the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, with 17 dead. Each time there has been public outrage calling for Congressional action to limit access to assault rifles. But Congress can't agree on how to respond. Those on the right see this as a mental health issue. They are willing to offer support for the affected families and survivors. The minority on the left responds with "enough already" and seeks Congressional action to address the issue of assault rifle access head on. So nothing changes. Support is offered with flags flown at half-staff for a few days while the matter soon disappears from Congressional attention. But I think that Congress has been getting off too easy. I propose that all members of Congress be required to wear a two-color black-green armband after each shooting for the same number of days as there were people killed and injured. The black is to acknowledge all victims and the green is to remind Congress members that it's time to get going and do something. If this measure were adopted retroactive to last fall, all members of Congress would be wearing armbands well into 2019 at a minimum. With this constant reminder, perhaps the two sides could actually work together and come up with a joint approach to address the mass shooting problem before then.

Sherman Schapiro, Blue Lake

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