Charlotte Bacon, 6.

Daniel Barden, 7.

Olivia Engel, 6.

Josephine Gay, 7.

Ana Marquez-Greene, 6.

Dylan Hockney, 6.

Madeleine Hsu, 6.

Catherine Hubbard, 6.

Chase Kowalski, 7.

Jesse Lewis, 6.

James Mattioli, 6.

Grace McDonnell, 7.

Emilie Parker, 6.

Jack Pinto, 6.

Noah Pozner, 6.

Caroline Previdi, 6.

Jessica Rekos, 6.

Avielle Richman, 6.

Benjamin Wheeler, 6.

Allison Wyatt, 6.

Rachel DaVino, 29.

Dawn Hochsprung, 47.

Anna Marie Murphy, 52.

Lauren Rousseau, 30.

Mary Sherlach, 56.

Victoria Soto, 27.

I want you to read their names one last time before we forget them forever, as we surely will. Within a few weeks, we'll have moved on to more important things, like Lindsay Lohan, the Kardashian sisters and the NFL playoffs. And all the brave talk about finally doing something to curb the proliferation of guns and the glorification of violence in our culture will be swept away like New Year's Eve confetti on New Year's Day.

Until the next time. Then we'll repeat the charade all over again.

Do I sound angry? It's because I am. Angry at the shooter, of course. And his mother, too. She knew she had a troubled kid on her hands, so what did she do? Instead of taking him to a psychiatrist, she took him to the shooting range. Great parenting, Mom.


Advertisement

But I'm also angry at you. And me. We keep allowing these things to happen. We elect politicians who are scared to death of the gun lobby, and then we wonder why they do nothing except mouth pious words about this not being the right time to talk politics. (Translation: Let's put off the discussion until memories fade and people don't care anymore.)

I've been watching this dance going on since President John F. Kennedy's assassination almost 50 years ago. You'd think that would have been enough to convince people that we were on a slippery slope, but it wasn't.

Neither were all the tragedies that followed, including the Rev. Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy assassinations, the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, the campus slayings at Virginia Tech, the shootings at Gabby Giffords' town hall in Tucson, or the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the massacre at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin or the shopping mall in Oregon. The pattern was always the same: a lot of breast-beating in the immediate aftermath, followed by business as usual.

If anything, the trend is going the other way. The night before the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Republican-cotrolled legislature in Michigan passed a law making it OK to bring concealed weapons to schools, churches and day care centers, and other Republican-dominated states are poised to do the same thing.

As for President Obama, he talked a good game during the 2008 election, but the only gun legislation he's signed in the last four years is one making it OK to bring concealed weapons into the national parks. His speech at the prayer vigil Sunday night, though, does give hope for improvement.

So spare me the teddy bears and the balloons and the flowers. Spare me the prayers and the solemn vows. I'll believe we're serious when we actually do something, not before.

Think I'm being too cynical? OK, prove me wrong.

Please.

Reach Martin Snapp at catman@sunset.net.