Will Kansas City mass shooting spark change, or be forgotten?

Three days ago, a mass shooting at the Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade and rally shocked millions. It sparked renewed discussions about the fruitless search for real solutions to the uniquely American problem of mass shootings on a daily basis.

Will change come, or will we slip back into our normal lives — until the next mass shooting that is deemed sufficiently significant to secure widespread media coverage?

At this point, not many do. If they did, it’s all the national media would discuss.

When will we collectively discuss a path back to normal? When will someone create a commission aimed at identifying the various factors that have led to this mess and charge them with figuring out whether there’s a way to figure this thing out?

Why won’t our elected leaders even try to fix this? One side of the aisle refuses to do it, and the other side of the aisle has been unable to come up with a way to leverage the will of the voters into progress.

And the voters definitely want something to happen. When Myles Simmons and I spent roughly 30 minutes to open Thursday’s PFT Live by discussing the problem, I expected the usual 50-50 mix of “great job” and “you suck.” The feedback was instead very positive. Overwhelmingly positive. Shockingly positive. Nearly every email — and there were many of them — expressed agreement with the things Myles and I said. Several said that we articulated their thoughts with 100-percent accuracy.

Here’s the thing. We shouldn’t be the ones doing it. We’re not the ones who have been put in place to pass legislation and shape policy and otherwise, you know, lead the way to a cure.

That’s the most flabbergasting thing about this. Our leaders aren’t leading. The people want something to be done. One party won’t; the other party can’t.

Because of this, change won’t and can’t come quickly. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. And be “we,” I mean everyone. If you want to eventually be able to go to public places without assuming the risk of getting shot and killed by someone who should not have access to an assault rifle, vote for people who have promised to do something about it. (And hold them to it, if/when they win.)

Make your voices heard at town halls and other gatherings at which the candidates and their handlers are gauging what the people want. If they realize this is what we all want, they’ll eventually have no choice but to respond.

And don’t get distracted by the bullshit wedge issues that do not (or should not) matter to you. Take a step back and think about the stuff that makes you mad. Ask yourself two questions: (1) how does this thing that makes me mad actually affect my life?; and (2) is someone trying to manipulate me by activating this thing that makes me mad?

I’m very encouraged by the fact that so many of you want what we need on this front — real change. I’m discouraged by the fact that our leaders aren’t leading on this issue. More often than not, they’re just getting in the way of the change that they should be effecting.

Lead, follow, or get out of the way. We want to be led to a solution. If our leaders won’t do it, we need to vote them out of the way.

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