Let's travel back in time for a moment. Less than eight months ago, Gabrielle Giffords testified to Congress (an institution she once served in). It had been just over two years since she and others were shot at a "Congress at Your Corner" event near Tucson, Arizona. And it had been less than two months after the horrific Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school massacre.
She asked her former colleagues in Congress to be courageous. And some did show courage. Others, however, did not. And thanks to those others fearing the NRA and placing its wants ahead of their own constituents' needs, Congress passed nothing on gun safety this past spring.
Let's fast forward to today. The nation is reeling from another frightening massacre. And this time, it occurred at the Navy Yard in our nation's capital, less than two miles from Capitol Hill. Thirteen people have died today, including one of the gunmen (Aaron Alexis).
Law enforcement discovered three weapons on Aaron Alexis: a shotgun, a semiautomatic pistol, and an AR-15 assault weapon. Perhaps this was on Dr. Janis Orlowski's mind when she spoke today. Dr. Orlowski is the Chief Medical Officer of MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where Navy Yard Shooting victims were sent for treatment. As she was updating the media on the three victims still in critical condition, she was asked what stood out today.
"There's something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate," she responded. Dr. Orlowski later added, "I would like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots." She also pleaded, "Let's get rid of this. This is not America."
Today, we've been reminded of something evil in our society. We've been reminded of those who will go to great lengths to cause tragedy and suffering. And we've been reminded of those who've been craven and/or greedy enough to stand by and allow those evil individuals to gather what they need to inflict harm on others.
However, we've also been reminded of the good in our society today. We've been reminded of those who sacrificed their own lives to save the lives of others. Now what can we do to honor them? And what can we do to stop this evil in our society from claiming any more innocent lives?