The stories out of El Paso of the young mother protecting her little daughter and the grandfather protecting his wife and granddaughter being killed move me.

Compare that with Mitch McConnell, who isn’t willing to call the Senate back into session and the Republican majority who are not willing to risk the displeasure of the National Rifle Association, which by its actions said of Sandy Hook, Parkland, Las Vegas, “That wasn’t so bad.” And is saying the same after El Paso and Dayton.

If a shooter with a weapon of mass destruction came into a family gathering of one of our legislators and began shooting, would the legislator stand back and say, “I respect your Second Amendment rights,” as our legislators are saying while other families are slaughtered.

Kim Wehle, in "How to Read the Constitution and Why," quotes Justice Scalia as writing, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited…. [T]hrough the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” (pg 158 quoting Scalia writing on District of Columba v. Heller)

So there is no hiding behind the Second Amendment in defending the slaughter of our families and neighbors.

And finally maybe consenting to background checks is like going to someone living along the Mississippi River as it exceeds flood stage and saying, “Here, I’ll hand you one sandbag.”

To do nothing, when one could do something, in the face of the continued slaughter of our neighbors is, and I choose this word thoughtfully, diabolical. And such a one who does nothing or makes only empty gestures has no claim to morality or decency.

Daniel W. Wanders

Bozeman