It is puzzling how we react to different events that are equally tragic. Following 9/11, the bond we forged was unbreakable and the phrase we adopted was unanimous, "never again." The same will be true as we try to make sense of the events in Boston. However, that attitude ceases when confronting gun violence.
On Wednesday the Senate told victims of Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and the 3,474 gun deaths since Adam Lanza snapped that common-sense background checks -- a reform 90 percent of the country supports -- weren't worth it. Our nation has fractured into two unwavering gun factions that exemplify the gridlock that has beset Capitol Hill. All the while, our children, future leaders, brothers and sisters lay victim to continued inaction.
Watching bombs explode on live television evokes a distinct horror that shocks our collective conscience. An emotion so overwhelming, it leaves us questioning humanity. But the scene inside Sandy Hook was no different. Like bombs, bullets ripped through those children. And while a bomb takes weeks or months to develop, a gun or rifle takes only seconds to load.
Our willful ignorance saves us from confronting reality. After all, how could we tolerate ourselves if we had to watch children gunned downed day after day without acting? Yet that is exactly what the Senate did Wednesday. No legislation is perfect, but doing nothing is un-American. And just as we will tackle the next great obstacle that comes our way -- together -- this one is long overdue.
ADAM N. QUATRINI