Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage from

More gun mayhem -- and yet we wait for action

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
updated 3:42 PM EST, Mon February 4, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • LZ Granderson: Tragic shootings take place in Alabama, Chicago, Phoenix
  • One takes the life of a 15-year-old days after she performed in Inauguration
  • He says things were supposed to change after the horror of Newtown
  • Granderson: And yet we wait for things like universal background checks for guns

Editor's note: LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for CNN.com, was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and is a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary. He is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter: @locs_n_laughs.

(CNN) -- On Tuesday, a man identified by authorities as Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded a school bus as it stopped to drop off children and demanded two students. Police say that when the bus driver, Charles Albert Poland, refused, Dykes -- who was arrested last month, accused of shooting at neighbors in a dispute over a speed bump -- shot Poland four times, killing him. As I'm writing this, he is in a standoff with police, who say he's holding someone's 5-year-old boy hostage in his underground doomsday bunker.

Also on Tuesday, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was gunned down in Chicago, allegedly by someone who thought she and her friends were members of a rival gang. It was raining, and the teens were standing underneath a shelter in a park. A park that is about a mile north of the home of President Obama's home. And just a little over a week ago, Pendleton was a participant in Obama's inauguration festivities as a member of the King College Prep band.

LZ Granderson
LZ Granderson

That's just one day in the life of America. ... I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

A Pew Research Center poll found that 85% of Americans back a universal background check to limit the ability of convicted felons and the mentally ill to get a gun -- and yet we wait.

On Wednesday, the NFL announced that the Super Bowl pregame show will feature a performance of "America the Beautiful" by 26 students and faculty members from Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Become a fan of CNNOpinion
Stay up to date on the latest opinion, analysis and conversations through social media. Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion and follow us @CNNOpinion on Twitter. We welcome your ideas and comments.



The Sandy Hook massacre was supposed to change things, change us. And yet we wait.

Even while the NFL announced its gesture, a gunman whom police identified as 70-year-old Arthur Harmon went inside a Phoenix office building and shot three people, one fatally.

And yet we continue to wait -- hoping tomorrow doesn't bring more senseless shootings, more gunned-down babies, more pleas for change.

Pendleton deserves more.

The victims of Newtown deserve more.

With so much blood flowing through our streets, the issue of gun control should not belong to red states or blue ones. It should be wedded to the idea that we deserve more. But as long as cowardly politicians continue to have their sense of morality held hostage by the National Rifle Association, we will continue to wait, even as more loved ones are violently taken from us.

You know, John Adams said there was nothing he dreaded more than "a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leadership, and concerting measures in opposition to each other."

And Thomas Jefferson once said he "never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself."

I wonder how many more days will pass, how many more lives will be lost, before the people who claim to love our forefathers so much actually take heed of some of the words they said.

And yet we wait.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.

Watch Anderson Cooper 360° weeknights 8pm ET. For the latest from AC360° click here.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:10 PM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
If Obama thinks pushing out Hagel will be seen as the housecleaning many have eyed for his national security process, he'll be disappointed, says David Rothkopf.
updated 8:11 AM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
The decision by the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney to announce the Ferguson grand jury decision at night was dangerous, says Jeff Toobin.
updated 3:57 AM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
China's influence in Latin America is nothing new. Beijing has a voracious appetite for natural resources and deep pockets, says Frida Ghitis.
updated 4:51 PM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in the capital Tehran on June 14, 2014.
The decision to extend the deadline for talks over Iran's nuclear program doesn't change Tehran's dubious history on the issue, writes Michael Rubin.
updated 2:25 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Maria Cardona says Republicans should appreciate President Obama's executive action on immigration.
updated 7:44 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Van Jones says the Hunger Games is a more sweeping critique of wealth inequality than Elizabeth Warren's speech.
updated 6:29 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
obama immigration
David Gergen: It's deeply troubling to grant legal safe haven to unauthorized immigrants by executive order.
updated 8:34 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
Charles Kaiser recalls a four-hour lunch that offered insight into the famed director's genius.
updated 3:12 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
The plan by President Obama to provide legal status to millions of undocumented adults living in the U.S. leaves Republicans in a political quandary.
updated 10:13 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
Despite criticism from those on the right, Obama's expected immigration plans won't make much difference to deportation numbers, says Ruben Navarette.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
As new information and accusers against Bill Cosby are brought to light, we are reminded of an unshakable feature of American life: rape culture.
updated 5:56 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
When black people protest against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, they're thought of as a "mob."
updated 3:11 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Lost in much of the coverage of ISIS brutality is how successful the group has been at attracting other groups, says Peter Bergen.
updated 8:45 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Do recent developments mean that full legalization of pot is inevitable? Not necessarily, but one would hope so, says Jeffrey Miron.
updated 8:19 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
We don't know what Bill Cosby did or did not do, but these allegations should not be easily dismissed, says Leslie Morgan Steiner.
updated 10:19 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Does Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have the influence to bring stability to Jerusalem?
updated 12:59 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Even though there are far fewer people being stopped, does continued use of "broken windows" strategy mean minorities are still the target of undue police enforcement?
updated 9:58 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
The truth is, we ran away from the best progressive persuasion voice in our times because the ghost of our country's original sin still haunts us, writes Cornell Belcher.
updated 4:41 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Children living in the Syrian city of Aleppo watch the sky. Not for signs of winter's approach, although the cold winds are already blowing, but for barrel bombs.
updated 8:21 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
We're stuck in a kind of Middle East Bermuda Triangle where messy outcomes are more likely than neat solutions, says Aaron David Miller.
updated 7:16 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
In the midst of the fight against Islamist rebels seeking to turn the clock back, a Kurdish region in Syria has approved a law ordering equality for women. Take that, ISIS!
updated 11:07 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Ruben Navarrette says President Obama would be justified in acting on his own to limit deportations
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT