The bodies of three little children, two teachers, and a custodian were hardly cold on Monday, March 27 when the mayor of Nashville, Tennessee was on television asking for – you guessed it – thoughts and prayers for the deceased, who were slaughtered at their school in the afternoon.

Mayor John Cooper went on to discuss mental health and the problems that children who witness such events suffer, as well as members of law enforcement who doubtless see some horrific events in the line of duty.

The surprising thing about this mayor is that he is a Democrat reflecting the conservative politics of the Democratic Party in the South. Cooper never laid the blame for Monday’s school shooting on the doorstep of those who deserve it – the gun lobby and the gun makers who continue to capitalize on children’s deaths to increase their bottom lines.

Americans love their guns so much, even more than their children it seems. That is the only conclusion to reach after one mass shooting after another.

It is an extraordinary fact of life in America that there are many survivors who have been present at more than one gun shooting. Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show on Monday night had three people who each endured two mass shootings and fortunately survived.

It is very hard to comprehend, in a country that is the greatest ever created, why the United States cannot somehow handle a problem that has bedeviled its citizens since the Columbine school shooting in 1999.

The fact that the shooter on Monday could purchase two AR-15s and enter the school carrying them and a revolver speaks to an absolutely horrific fact that the issue of gun safety in America is now completely out of control.

A protest against the lack of gun control in the United States.

A protest against the lack of gun control in the United States.

Usually, we look to our Constitution – as we did in the case of Donald Trump and his 2021 attempt to stop the new president, Joe Biden, from being certified – to find an answer to a pressing national problem.

It seems crystal clear, from the Second Amendment, that there is a conditional aspect to gun ownership. Back in 1776, the Militia carried muskets that could only fire one bullet at a time before reloading.

The founders would surely be baffled and shocked by today’s guns that can fire 35 bullets per second, as the AR-15 can. These killing machines are available for anyone over the age of 18, and the consequences of that freedom to buy have become readily apparent.

100 years from now, when people look back on this period in America, the blackest mark for historians will be the failure of the political and legal systems to end the killing of American children. 

We wait now for the next incident, knowing that it is as inevitable as the sun rising. This is a terrible indictment of our society. 

The three nine-year-old students who were murdered on Monday were just starting their journeys in life, at that beautiful age of discovering things all around them. Now they lie dead, shot by yet another unhinged monster who blathered away in a letter about conspiracy theories and other nonsense.

The sad part is that even gun owners when polled, want to have background checks and other safety measures for gun purchases because it’s the only thing that makes common sense. 

But unfortunately, common sense is highly uncommon for Americans when it comes to the purchase and ownership of guns. 

*This editorial first appeared in the March 29 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.