Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage from

More gun mayhem -- and yet we wait for action

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
February 4, 2013 -- Updated 2042 GMT (0442 HKT)
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
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 0127 GMT (0927 HKT)
The Occupy Central movement has already achieved much by bringing greater attention to Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, writes William Piekos.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 2209 GMT (0609 HKT)
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits America, Madeleine Albright says a world roiled by conflict needs these two great democracies to commit to moving their partnership forward
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1802 GMT (0202 HKT)
John Sutter: Lake Providence, Louisiana, is the parish seat of the "most unequal place in America." And until somewhat recently, the poor side of town was invisible on Google Street View.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says in the run up to the 2016 election the party faces divisions on its approach to the U.S.'s place in the world
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1419 GMT (2219 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says Common Core supporters can't devise a new set of standards and then fail to effectively sell it.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 2145 GMT (0545 HKT)
Earlier this month, Kenyans commemorated the heinous attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 2057 GMT (0457 HKT)
David Wheeler says Colorado students are right to protest curriculum changes that downplays civil disobedience.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 0158 GMT (0958 HKT)
Sally Kohn says when people click on hacked celebrity photos or ISIS videos, they are encouraging the bad guys.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1155 GMT (1955 HKT)
Loren Bunche says she walked by a homeless man every day and felt bad about it -- until one day she paused to get to know him
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1741 GMT (0141 HKT)
ISIS grabs headlines on social media, but hateful speech is no match for moderate voices, says Nadia Oweidat.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
A new report counts jihadists fighting globally. The verdict? The threat isn't that big, says Peter Bergen.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 2137 GMT (0537 HKT)
Ebola could become the biggest humanitarian disaster in a generation, writes former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1658 GMT (0058 HKT)
ISIS has shocked the world. But will releasing videos of executions backfire? Four experts give their take.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
Eric Holder kicked off his stormy tenure as attorney general with a challenge to the public that set tone for six turbulent years as top law-enforcement officer.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
LZ Granderson says Obama was elected as a war-ending change agent, not a leader who would leave behind for his successor new engagement in Iraq and Syria. Is he as disappointed as the rest of us?
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0910 GMT (1710 HKT)
Gayle Lemmon says the question now is how to translate all the high-profile feminizing into real gains for women
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1900 GMT (0300 HKT)
John Sutter says the right is often stereotyped on climate change. But with 97% of climate scientists say humans are causing global warming, we all have to get together on this.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1257 GMT (2057 HKT)
Andrew Liepman and Philip Mudd: When we declare that we will defeat ISIS, what do we exactly mean?
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 2040 GMT (0440 HKT)
Thailand sex trafficking
Human trafficking is a multibillion dollar global industry. To beat it, we need to change mindsets, Cindy McCain says.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 2242 GMT (0642 HKT)
The leaders of the GOP conferences say a Republican-led Senate could help solve America's problems.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1401 GMT (2201 HKT)
Nicholas Syrett says Wesleyan University's decision to make fraternities admit women will help curb rape culture.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1302 GMT (2102 HKT)
Mike Downey says New Yorkers may be overdoing it, but baseball will really miss Derek Jeter
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1232 GMT (2032 HKT)
Quick: Which U.S. president has authorized wars of various kinds in seven Muslim countries?
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1817 GMT (0217 HKT)
Women's issues should be considered front and center when assessing a society's path, says Zainab Salbi
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1805 GMT (0205 HKT)
A catastrophe not making headlines like Ebola and ISIS: the astounding rate of child poverty in the world's richest country.
ADVERTISEMENT