This morning I got some kind of message about a high school shooting in Alington, TX so I turned on the TV and switched back and forth between Fox and CNN.  And by 1 PM or so the shootings seemed to be over with four injured kids and adults being taken to a local hospital and the shooter, an 18-year old, still at large.

              This past Monday, two members of Florida’s Congressional delegation who both happen to be Democrats, held a press conference to discuss a bill they have filed called the School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act, that will require the Departments of Education, Justice and HHS to gather, compile and publish data on school shootings that will allow legislators to “develop policies and strategies to curb some of this preventable bloodshed at America’s places of learning.”

              Those words came out of the mouth of Debbie Wasserman Schultz who art one time was the Chair of the DNC but had to resign in 2016 when it turned out that she and some other DNC members got together to try and derail the Bernie Sander campaign. Her Congressional District by the way, happens to be right next to the CD which covers the town of Parkland, where a mass shooting in the high school killed and injured thirty-four adults and students in 2018.

              So, Congresswoman Schultz believes we need more information about school shootings in order to know what to do? And she gets paid $174,000 a year plus bennies to get up in public and announce such crap? 

              What I’m going to say right now may come as a great shock to Representative Schultz and any other Member of Congress who signs on to this bill, but we have all the information we need to prevent every single school shooting from ever taking place. 

              Go back to the first big shooting, which was when a former Marine named Charles Whitman went up to the top of the tower on the University of Texas campus ion 1966, and over the next 90 minutes shot and killed fifteen people, wounded another thirty-one and was himself then shot and killed by an armed civilian and a cop.

              Over the years since then there have been other school shootings at places like Columbine, Umpqua Community College, Virginia Tech and of course the big gugga-mugga at Sandy Hook. These are only the shootings which left more than 10-15 people getting injured and dead. Only four people taken to the hospital in Arlington today?  It’s three or four hours since the shooting took place and it’s already off the front page of the news.

              Now what do every, single one of these shootings have in common which they happen to share with the more than three hundred deaths and injuries that Americans suffer from guns every day. Not every week. Not every month. Every friggin’ day.

              And the reason that these shootings never get the headline on the mid-day report from Fox or CNN is that most of these shootings involve either older White men who live in small towns out in the boondocks and shoot themselves or involve younger men and boys who happen to live in what we now politely refer to as ‘underserved zones.’

We used to call these neighborhoods slums, then we became a little more sensitive to the feelings of the slum dwellers and we started talking about ‘ghettos,’ then ‘inner-city neighborhoods’ and now these places are ‘underserved.’

Let me tell you something about these slums or underserved neighborhoods or whatever you want to call them. Since the 1950’s, and I can’t find any data which goes back earlier than 70 years, the people living in these God-forsaken locations have been getting shot at rates that are ten times or higher than what happens in the more, shall we say, ‘proper’ neighborhoods throughout the United States.

My office is located in the South End of Springfield, MA, a neighborhood mostly Hispanic and Black where nobody has a job. The gun-violence rate in this neighborhood is up there with Honduras, maybe even a little worse. Cross the city line and you’re in the suburb of Longmeadow where there hasn’t been a crime involving the use of a gun for at least the last ten years.

When some kids in a suburban high school in Arlington, TX get shot, the story makes the national news. When someone who lives in Springfield’s South End gets shot, it doesn’t even make the local news.

But both of these acts of violence come from the same source, and with all dure respect to Debbie Wasserman who hasn’t yet figured out what to do about these shootings, the answer is right in front of her nose.

Get rid of the goddamn guns.