As the pandemic slows, do we really want to return to America’s crazy normal?

We wanted to return to normal. Well, here we are. Because in America, normal is anything but.

Normal is a social media beef so toxic that it can only end in gunfire. Normal is a mass shooting in a supermarket while people are shopping for food. Normal is an attack on Asian massage parlors and a cop claiming the motive wasn’t racism. Normal is wilding out on spring break in Miami, and the black kids getting harsher treatment.

But hey, we wanted to go back to normal, yet normal is anything but.

You can’t live in a place where gun violence is celebrated as heroism, and expect people not to gravitate toward guns. You can’t live in a place where every form of media is punctuated by gunshots, and expect that it won’t spill into the streets.

Joe Biden claimed he would do something about guns on day one. It’s been more than 63 days. He’s done nothing. But in the wake of two major mass shootings and with the Supreme Court about to consider a case that could expand Second Amendment rights, the pressure is building for Biden to act. I want to see if he will.

He says he wants to ban assault weapons. Okay, but we’ve already got enough assault weapons to launch a small war. And that’s just in North Philly. He says he wants to expand background checks. Okay, but criminals will find a way to buy guns illegally. So what can Joe Biden do?

He can pass those laws, and then some. Make mental illness easier to treat. Make dangerous people easier to report. Make good jobs available to everyone. Make the American dream accessible to all. If we’re going to stop gun violence in America, it’s not just about removing the guns, it’s removing the belief that killing each other for nothing is normal.

Photo: Shooting By. Ninian Reid

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