President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump speak to first responders as they visit the El Paso Regional Communications Center after meeting with people affected by the El Paso mass shooting, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise said he doesn’t think shootings should be used as political fodder. And all our Republican legislators seem to agree. I am curious. When is it appropriate for our elected officials to debate and legislate appropriate gun control laws?

It wasn’t after 13 high school students were killed at Columbine High School in 1999.

It wasn’t after 27 young children were massacred in their classrooms in Sandy Hook in 2012.

It wasn’t after 58 country western fans were shot down and 546 injured at a concert in Las Vegas in 2012

It wasn’t after 49 people were murdered in the Pulse nightclub in Florida in 2016

It wasn’t after 26 worshippers were assassinated and 20 injured in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017

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It wasn’t after 17 teenagers were slain and 17 injured in their classrooms in Parkland, Florida, in 2018

It isn’t after 22 people were slaughtered and 26 injured while shopping in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, this week.

It isn’t after 9 people died and 27 were injured in the streets of Dayton, Ohio.

Obviously, there is never an appropriate time to legislate, much less even debate, gun laws in Congress. President Donald Trump called for a bipartisan effort, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stifled the introduction of any gun laws, even universal background checks.

There have been 292 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, with more than 1,300 people injured or killed. Now is the appropriate time to find a way to end this mass carnage.

Lynn Loewy

retired teacher