Las Vegas: Dialogue is Dead on Capitol Hill

Editorial  /  by 137th Editorial Board  /  October 06, 2017

Courtesy of CNN

October 1, 2017. Las Vegas Strip. 59 dead. 489 injured.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: "There is a time and place for political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country."

Unite in what, Sarah? Apathy? Our political class has a duty to represent us, to keep us safe, to protect our lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. As a nation, we have bowed our heads in prayer before: Pearl Harbor. 9/11. Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, Irma. In those time of crisis our compassion lead to action: involvement in WWII, the 2001 USA P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act, relief missions and grassroots fundraising. Politics can and should be an agent for social change, as "political debate" and dialogue are essential or progress. Regardless of your opinion on the 2nd Amendment, a dialogue on gun control and American gun culture has the potential to save lives; such has ben acknowledges by many on both sides of the aisle. Nevertheless, politicians like Ms. Huckabee are avoiding such a dialogue to pad their wallets with special interest money. Politicians like Ms. Huckabee are offering hollow condolence and empty prayer in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in recent history. Disgusting.

These statespeople value money more than they value protecting the people to which they owe their power. This is corruption, plain and simple. NBC News reports the the National Rifle Association (NRA) annually funnels millions of dollars into Congress, not to mention hundreds of thousands to party committees and millions through their super PAC and 501c4 affiliate organizations to various campaigns.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin -- these men championed a generation that valued disinterested political action as the highest social obligation; selfless civil service was the Republican ideal. How ironic that today, as the Washington Post reports, the majority of Republican representatives receive financial backing from the NRA. The Founding Fathers printed on the NRA dollars stuffed into Republican pockets are rolling in their graves.

In our government, the dollar has killed dialogue. We Lawrentians must not let this apathetic American political reality seep into our school culture. We approached the Charlottesville crisis with such grace -- let us do the same for Las Vegas. Let's cover the windows of Irwin with reflections written on Post-it Notes. Let's hold a town hall about gun control. Let's have a School Meeting to reflect.

We are the leaders of tomorrow, the leaders capable of setting America's future Congress on a path of compassion and action. We must hold our institutions to such a standard. We must start with Lawrenceville.