It’s been five years. Sixty months that Caroline Previdi should have spent rubbing crayons on coloring books, feeling the pangs of her first crush and hugging friends. One thousand, eight hundred and twenty-six days that James Matioli spent trick-or treating, scuffing his knees and laughing. No one had a right to snuff out those kids, and their classmates lives.

I remember crying that morning. The bloodshed was inconceivable. It was a second 9/11. Except we didn’t react. We did the most unAmerican thing possible: we sat on our hands. The cowards and cranks won.

Oh, sure, some diligent, courageous people have strived with all their might to push us to toward that more perfect union.

But the nation should have reacted forcefully more quickly. We heard all the talk about our mental health system. But what has been done. Have the people who wailed and gnashed their teeth pushed for greater access to mental health? Of course not. Have we addressed the issues that certain people shouldn’t be allowed to own a Nerf gun, let alone a real one. Of course not.

We damned ourselves. We damned ourselves to Orlando. To San Bernadino. To Las Vegas.

Damn us all.

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” — Theodore Roosevelt, assassination attempt survivor.

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