NO! v2.0

We Americans routinely let tragedy happen to school children, as at the Covenant School in Nashville and at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and now at a Dadeville, AL sweet 16 party. Children are powerless to stop the murdering, so they count on we adults, we good people, to speak up and say “NO!

This truly is a political issue, because stopping the murders will require our national collective will. Those who say we shouldn’t “politicize” our mass shootings are effectively saying we shouldn’t prevent the next ones. The result of that is that the mass shootings continue to happen and more children die.

Our politicians are dedicated first and foremost to self-preservation, which to them means staying in office. Some may have a strong moral backbone, but too many do not. That leads directly to “thoughts and prayers” and “This is not the time” and “We must not politicize this” and all the other miserable, spineless, self-serving blather of (mostly) Republicans beholden to the gun industry and Second Amendment extremists. And they get away with it because too many good people fail to speak up in the voting booth to say “NO! and vote out of office those who refuse to take action to protect our kids.

We aren’t the only country with wretched politicians, but we’re the only country with politicians who allow the murder of little kids to effectively be our national policy.

Read that last sentence again.

Following their horrific trauma, the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School survivors declared “Never Again,” but the echo of their call to action fades until the next slaughter. Too many of we good people have allowed that declaration to be just words.

We’re 113 days into the year and already we have had 169 mass shootings, including murders of little school children and teens. That’s 1.5 mass shootings per day and that doesn’t include drive-bys, gun suicides and the rest. We kill about 45,000 of our citizens with guns every year. “Never Again” has devolved into “Ever Again and Again,” because nothing substantive has changed to alter our course.*

How is it that we don’t seem to get it? I’m wondering seriously whether to mobilize this nation against gun violence it will be necessary for us to be shown photographs and videos of the bodies of murdered little school children, pictures that show how savagely, brutally ripped apart their bodies are from bullets designed for war. Maybe the words “We had to do a DNA test to determine who that kid was” will mean more to us once we see with our own eyes why that was so wickedly true.**

Here’s a note to the millions of good people who don’t vote:

You’re letting this carnage happen.

The same comment goes to those who vote for politicians who puff themselves up with their man badge AR-15s, as though that attests to their being true Americans or courageous or some pitiful version of Don’t Tread On Me. Meanwhile, they refuse to do anything to protect our children.

Do you think that it’s just a handful of Americans who are affected by gun violence, maybe just the ones you hear about on TV? See the chart and comments at bottom of this post and be sure to click through and read the linked report. You don’t have to be ripped apart by a bullet to be affected by gun violence.

Far too many of us have already been maimed by injuries that will not heal, like Trayvon Martin’s mom. And the Sandy Hook and Parkland and Uvalde and Sugarland and Covenant School moms and dads. And the people who loved all the drive-by victims, the innocents like that little girl doing a puzzle on her living room floor who was killed by a random bullet from a random gun fired by a random thug just because he could get a gun. It’s all the people who live with the pain and the horror for which there are no words. They are forever affected by gun violence.

We the majority don’t get what we want on this and so many other issues. Some of them are deadly, like gun violence. And maternal mortality. And immigration cruelty. And death  by poverty. That is entirely because the extremist minority votes and too many of we good people have refused to speak up with our votes.

Signing petitions is nice and protesting in the streets can be helpful and can feel empowering, but


It’s long past time for our voices to be heard from that powerful place saying, “NO!” Mark your calendar to do that on November 5, 2024.

Quote of the Week

Watch for “NO!” v3.0 this Wednesday, April 26.


* Even as Republicans like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) love to have accusatory tirades over violence and murders in blue big cities, 21 of the 22 states with the highest rates of gun deaths are red states. Jordan’s district in Ohio has a murder rate far higher than that of New York City.

The state with the lowest rate of gun deaths is blue Massachusetts, which also has the strictest gun laws. Do you suppose there’s a message in that, some guideline for what we good people can do to protect our kids and ourselves? See this post.

** From this New York Times Magazine piece:

After each new mass shooting, the question, the debate, returns. Would seeing the crime-scene photos have an effect on the gun crisis in the same way images of Emmett Till’s body in an open coffin had on the civil rights movement?

Today is a good day to be the light.


  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
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