Remember when we only feared other countries?
Who would have believed that the two weeks of the Cuban Missile Crisis during the Cold War were the good old days.
Schools taught students to hide under their desks in the famous “duck and cover” method of surviving a nuclear blast.
President John F. Kennedy told Americans to build bomb shelters. The idea was that a “fraidy hole” in the back yard would give you somewhere to hide for a week or two until the effects of global thermonuclear war subsided.
We know now how ludicrous that is. In fact, experts in that generation also knew two weeks underground would have little effect on survivability – especially in those shallow, low tech holes in the ground.
The nuclear threat subsided and Americans were free to use their newly dug shelters as man-caves or whatever other use they deemed appropriate.
More than 50 years later, our threats come from every direction. America’s gun fetish has led to mass shooters owning 14 guns and piles of ammunition legally.
We are arming teachers to protect against active shooters in schools and allowing entirely untrained citizens to carry concealed loaded weapons so they can feel safer in malls and movie theaters.
But before the blood dries on the concrete at the last mass shooting, another monster is attending gun shows, going to local farm implement stores and gun mega stores purchasing his arsenal and targeting his victims.
Guns are even prizes in fundraising raffles.
Today, companies are trying to sell school administrators on safe rooms that are active shooter proof and storm proof. Others have Kevlar blankets to spread over huddled children to protect them from stray bullets in the classroom when active shooters attack their schools.
But no one is doing anything to address the issues.
Gun control advocates blame easy access to guns – lots of guns. But we haven’t done a thing about guns. In fact, thanks to National Rifle Association and willing legislators who take their money, the gun laws have been relaxed to allow more people to carry loaded weapons in more places.
Gun control opponents blame mental illness or evil people.
Still, we haven’t done anything to improve access to mental health care or to try to identify and weed out evil people before they strike.
Jeb Bush said it best.
“Stuff happens,” he said with the cavalier attitude that explains our inaction. Doing something would take guts. It would be hard.
So we do nothing. Nine more people lay dead and seven more injured by a man with evil intentions and 14 guns he owned legally.
He had mental issues. He was evil. He owned a lot of guns.
And we will do nothing about any of it.
That’s not exactly true.
The president calls for action knowing it won’t happen. The NRA ups its lobbying efforts and public relations campaign budgets.
Half of you will share memes on social media sites about how the NRA has blood on its hands or how more guns in more places would mean fewer mass shootings.
And we wait.
We wait knowing that the next shooting is going to happen. It isn’t a matter of “if,” it is a matter of “when.” It will happen again because we lack the courage to actually do anything about it.
When the next body count is complete, I encourage you to think back to Umpqua Community College in Oregon and ask yourself what changed in the few short weeks in between this shooting and the next one.
How many funerals have to be conducted before we take action to try to stop this American epidemic?
If we are going to continue to do nothing, we need to make sure we choose the next president based at least in part at how well he or she handles responses to mass shootings. President Barack Obama has addressed 15 mass shootings in less than seven years in the White House.
No matter which side of the debate you are on, doing nothing is wrong. Identify why you believe this continues to happen in this country and do something, anything, to make it stop.

Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at