Commentary: Leaders, America is hurting right now. Do you really care about us?

Commentary: Leaders, America is hurting right now. Do you really care about us?
June 01
12:58 2022

By James B. Ewers Jr.

Pain and suffering have become unwelcomed companions to we the citizens in this country. Our beloved nation is tormented and tortured.

The shootings in America have overwhelmed us.

The disregard for human life and the murders have torn us apart physically and emotionally. Crying our tears has left us drained and distraught.

Is there no let up? Is there no relief that we can get?

Shootings and killings are now becoming commonplace. They are happening so frequently that we have become almost numb to them. Breaking news about these acts of violence have become everyday news. We are horrified and terrified about them when they happen.

We think that the terror in them will prevent the next one from occurring. Unfortunately, that is what we used to think. Now, we are just waiting and, sadly, anticipating the next one to happen.

We are slowly becoming a country of guns and killings. America, can we do better? Is the slope too steep for us to climb to get us back on track? Have our morals and sensibilities left us? Has rational thinking gone on a permanent hiatus? When will we get sick enough and disgusted enough to demand a change? Will we keep this passive attitude until it affects our house?

Instead of always thinking about bearing arms, we should be up in arms about these acts of immorality.

On Tuesday, May 24, children left their homes in Uvalde, Texas, going to school. The teachers greeted their students and their day started. This date would be a fateful and deadly day at Robb Elementary School. It would be the last day on earth for 19 children and two teachers.

They were shot and killed by a lone gunman with an automatic weapon. The shooter, Salvador Ramos, recently turned 18 years old. That is the legal age for purchasing guns in the state of Texas. According to reports, Ramos bought two AR platform rifles and 375 rounds of 5.56 caliber ammunition.

This purchase by him is incomprehensible to me. Does the seller simply let this guy go ahead and make the purchase without contacting the authorities?

Is the sale so important to the seller? Is there no thinking involved as to why a young man would need this type of firepower?

The police in Uvalde, Texas, shot the killer. He is dead, so we will never know any details about why he did it.

As reports come out, citizens at the scene have questioned the slow response by the police to act. There was a reluctance to move in the direction of the shooter. Opinions and reasons vary as to why it took law enforcement so long to confront Salvador Ramos.

Uvalde School District police chief, Pedro Arredondo, made the decision not to enter the area where the shooter was.

Col. Steven McGraw, Texas Department of Public Safety, said that the official made the wrong decision. He didn’t mention Arredondo’s name during the press conference held on Friday.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas is rightfully upset about matters related to this case and about the school district’s police chief. He said, “As far as his employment status is concerned, that’s something that is beyond my control, and I have no knowledge about.”

Guns in America are too accessible. That is a fact. People are buying them with minimum background checks. That is a fact. Weapons used for mass killings are readily available. That is a fact.

Those in power, especially in the United States Senate, must enact stronger gun laws. Until they act, these killings won’t stop.

Leaders, listen to America and pass stronger gun legislation. We are in a stupor of grief and sadness. It doesn’t have to be this way.

James B. Ewers Jr., Ed.D., is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator. He can be reached at

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