EDITORIAL – Nothing to offer but despair after another mass shooting


An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

YESTERDAY was Valentine’s Day.

That’s when men of all ages sheepishly line up in supermarkets and buy gaudy bouquets.

It’s a day of love, when we express the joy we give and receive from one another.

Yesterday, 17 people — maybe more by the time you’re reading this —  — were slaughtered in a Florida high school by a 19-year-old former student.

Of course, the analysts were working overtime last night trying to explain it. The TV networks, while warning us that video of the shooting was difficult to watch, nonetheless played it over and over, and over.

The politicians talk about refusing to give in to violence. Thoughts and prayers are offered.

Gun control, for the thousandth time, is up for debate.

I’m sick of it all.

In Journalism school, I had a professor who drilled into his students that when we wrote editorials we must not only criticize and analyse, but offer solutions.

“Rothenburger!” he’d say, “You’re pretty good at writing about what’s wrong with the world, but what do you suggest should be done about it?!”

So what’s the answer to this newest horror? Stop selling guns to people with mental illnesses? Stop selling guns period? Censor the media?

It seems like we kill each other at the slightest provocation. For cutting each other off in our cars. For being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The young Florida killer was mad because he’d been expelled from the school.

Columbine isn’t even in the top 10 any more for the number of people killed in a single shooting.

A few months ago when I wrote about banning the AR-15 — the same gun used by yesterday’s killer — there was no shortage of people to talk about how Canada is different than the U.S., but I’m not so sure we’re all that far behind anymore.

There seems no end of people who want to hurt other people.

I have no answer, no wisdom to offer. I have nothing.

Just despair.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear twice daily Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at


About Mel Rothenburger (6473 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on EDITORIAL – Nothing to offer but despair after another mass shooting

  1. Sean McGuinness // February 17, 2018 at 7:29 PM // Reply

    In a follow up to my previous comment, I agree, my suggestions are probably unworkable. However, it seems equally unlikely that the U.S. will do anything on its own, save for a massacre on an unimaginable scale. In my opinion, it is an infringement on human rights when innocent people are slaughtered en masse by someone who can simply go out and buy an assault rifle.
    We take issue with human rights abuses in other countries, why not the U.S.? The world need not be helpless on this issue. We have the power to do something.

  2. Lorraine Winter // February 17, 2018 at 2:53 PM // Reply

    I too am in despair. On one hand most Canadians know what has to be done but on the other, we well know that too many Americans will never see straight on this. Jeez, sure wish a few of us had been around the table when they wrote up that constitution in 1789, but more importantly, in 1791, when the Second Amendment reared its ugly head and “protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms.” If a few clear-headed Canadians had been there with prophetic abilities, maybe be could have veered them of this path of death and destruction. Canadians are far from perfect but maybe if this ‘right to bear arms’ amendment had never happened, maybe we wouldn’t continue to suffer through the news footage of parents showing up at a school to find their beloved son or daughter is dead. Your child died because a bullet came out of a gun. I guess that at some tipping point, after more kids have been gunned down, the US will consider taking a second look at that second amendment. But I don’t want my imagination to go there, let alone grieving the loss of even more North American children …
    Lorraine Winter

  3. Mr. McGuinness,your proposed solutions are totally unrealistic and unworkable.Like Mel,I don,t know the answer. Tougher gun laws similar to ours would be a start but I wouldn,t want to be in the job of introducing them to Appalachia.The FBI was told about this guy some time ago but they said they couldn,t find him?Unbelievable.
    It,s the responsible American gun owners,not politics, that have to come up with something that makes sense to everyone, a tough call but not impossible. Wheels and guns cannot be uninvented.

  4. The despair and voice of public opinion will have the greatest chance for change in their country.
    In ours, we enacted laws to help prevent mentally disturbed {and violent} people from buying large capacity magazines and certain types of firearms. The stats show what is working and what is not.
    I am a believer in our inherent right to protect ourselves.
    However, there is no reason the general public should expect to live in fear of the next massacre.
    ‘The right to bear arms’ was written at a time long before the AR15. Other laws have been enacted to keep up with the present needs and challenges of society. It’s time to address the issue of needless barbaric human carnage in ‘the land of the free and home of the brave’.

  5. Sean McGuinness // February 15, 2018 at 9:14 PM // Reply

    If Americans cannot solve this problem on their own, then I suggest boycotting the U.S. by refusing to travel there. Or perhaps even better, refusing entry to U.S citizens who travel abroad. Maybe refusing to do business with American companies might work as well.

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