Do something to end the killing

Enough. We've seen enough grieving relatives. We've seen enough streets strewn with debris and puddles of the blood of victims of yet another mass killing in America. And we've certainly had enough "thoughts and prayers" from the people who could take action in an effort to stop these senseless deaths but refuse to do so.

Authorities in El Paso, Texas, where a gunman reportedly drove 600 miles so he could open fire in a Walmart full of families buying back-to-school supplies, and in Dayton, Ohio, where another gunman opened fire in the street of a popular nighttime district, continue to try to put the pieces of these attacks together. They hope to make some sense of the slaughter — more than 20 in El Paso and nine in less than a minute in Dayton.

Some officials blame mental illness. Others point to the fictional violence of video games.

Other countries deal with mental illness. Other countries use video games. But only the United States suffers these mass killings on such a scale and with such frightening frequency.

After a rare attack in New Zealand, lawmakers put new restrictions in place in less than two weeks. The same thing happened after an equally rate attack in Australia. The United State has seen more than 20 of these mass killings so far this year — and members of the U.S. Congress continue to do nothing. Their lack of courage to take on special interests is disheartening to say the least. And while the inaction in Congress continues, more innocent people die.

The day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, then presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy spoke in Cleveland about violence in America:

"When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but conquest; to be subjugated and masters. ...

"Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

"But we can remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live our lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

" ... Surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again."

Enough. It's time for our elected officials to do something to stop the slaughter before the next one occurs. If they fail to do so, then it's us to the rest of us to make changes through the ballot box at the next opportunity.