What will it take to wake up this country? This macabre ritual of mass killings in the U.S. seems to be becoming business as usual. The press and FBI do a good deal of head scratching trying to establish motive, saddened bystanders gather in group hugs, grief counselors are dispensed to make sense of it all for victims’ relatives and friends. The sun comes up the next day, and we snuggle into the NRA’s absurd rationales against U.S. gun control, and all is forgiven.

Everyone of us is falling victim to the suffocating far right argument about keeping America safe. The logic of neoconservatives is what is getting this country’s citizenry slaughtered. If someone placed chlorine gas in an apartment building and all the occupants died, would we all shrug and say it couldn’t be helped because the perpetrator’s freedom of expression could not be capped. Perhaps his breakfast syrup was too sugary, his slacks too tight at the waist. What other asinine reasons could be given for loss of life?

Someone has to put the saving of American lives ahead of the mumbo jumbo that passes for policy among the far right. Perpetrators and guns are dangerous. The manipulative interpretation of the American Constitution in order to make sure each citizen looks like Yosemite Sam needs to go away. Now think, what can we really do to make this stop? Make legislators act accordingly.

Joan Provost, Salt Lake City