Way, way too close to home

This is no time for posturing. Our country, our Iowa, demand a backbone.

You’ll recognize these words. I’m going to run this until somewhere, someone grows a spine.

I’m going to run these words over and over until the people who imagine they are in power can understand that with power comes responsibility.

I’m going to publish this column until we are sick of it in the way that we are sick of violent and needless death.

To our politicians: Find a way to work together.

And stop telling us you’re praying.

Jesus taught, “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men … but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father who is unseen.”


I guess I wonder what we are waiting for.

Permission to be fed up?

Permission to act?

We watched, didn’t we?

One after another, mass shootings took down innocent people — CHILDREN — at Sandy Hook, in Uvalde.

We listened, didn’t we?

To the attempts to soothe.

To the attempts to convince us the victims were in the prayers of politicians who then failed to act.

We waited, didn’t we?

For something, anything, that would stop the killing of innocent people.

We wondered, didn’t we, how our elected officials could go through a single day without moving towards a solution to what is distinctly OUR PROBLEM.

We thought, didn’t we?

We thought our leaders would make good on their promises.

We were patient, weren’t we?

Even though we never should have had to be.

We wondered, didn’t we?

In the media, on social media, over coffee, to anyone who would listen, we raved about the unjustness of having to wonder who will be the next group to suffer.

And now, we know.

This time it’s Perry, a town not so far from us, a town the size of us, that is suffering. It is far too close to our hearts because they are like us. Iowans. Another shooting.

To the parties that claim to have their constituents in mind — yes you, Republicans and Democrats — get off your ineffective keisters and get back to work. You are getting paid by the rest of us to find solutions to critical national problems and, guess what? This is a critical national problem. If you aren’t willing to find a route to a solution, get out of the way and let someone who will take your job.

We listened, didn’t we?

We waited, didn’t we?

We wondered, didn’t we? And then, frankly, we wondered again and again.

We thought, didn’t we?

We were patient, weren’t we?

And now, we are grieving, aren’t we?

Again and again, we grieved because all the listening, and waiting, and wondering, and thinking, and patience didn’t do the trick, did it?

All those professed prayers and promises and soothing phrases meant to assuage each bitter moment did nothing.

And we watched, didn’t we?

And we were powerless.


Because so many of our leaders are invested in creating lines in imaginary sand fighting settled battles, but ignoring the war that is killing us.

I say it again: Either do your job or get out.

This is no time for posturing.

Our country, our state demands a backbone.

Let each of us, even if we have to do it with our teeth, rip from the fabric of our country, and our beloved Iowa, this chronic obsession with mass death.

Jane Curtis is interim editor of the Daily Freeman-Journal.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $3.46/week.

Subscribe Today