St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
For 88 years the term St. Valentine’s Day Massacre referred to the murder of seven gang members during Prohibition in a fight over control of organized crime in Chicago.
On Feb. 14, 1929, hoodlums working for Al Capone killed the seven members of a rival gang. It was considered a bloody, heartless slaying.
Well, from now on, a deadlier slaughter deserves the moniker St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Wednesday — Valentine’s Day — a lone 19-year-old was able to kill 17 people and wound 14 others at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Yup, one teenager was able to vastly out-carnage Capone’s gang, all thanks to the easy availability of assault weapons in the United States. He was legally able to purchase the AR-15 used in the attack, even though he was not old enough to buy a handgun. The AR-15 can fire 45 rounds per minute.
Attacks like Wednesday’s have become so commonplace that the pablum that spews forth from the mouths of our politicians is predictable:
• “The victims and their families are in our thoughts and prayers.” But, not in our deeds.
• “Now is not the time to rush to judgment, we need to wait to see what caused this senseless tragedy.”
Translation: We’re not going to do anything to restrict access to these killer weapons.
Doesn’t matter that schoolchildren continue to be slaughtered. We thought after the 20 6- to 7-year-olds were killed at Sandy Hook in 2012, the American public would be outraged and demand that Congress act. Didn’t happen.
It was ironic that two days before Wednesday’s shooting, the administration’s proposed budget for next year was made public and includes a $12 million cut in the background checks program.
Apparently, we want to make it easier to purchase weapons.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.