In the wake of unspeakable tragedy in Las Vegas, families will confront life without a parent, sibling, or child, while the rest of the country goes through the same motions it does every few months. We will be treated to an outpouring of platitudes and shock from the Republican Party. For some reason, we’re conditioned to be surprised when these shootings happen, but given their sickening regularity, it’s unclear why.

We live in a country where this happens so much, that you know what our leaders will say. There will be hollow outpourings of grief and empty prayers, as if only the Almighty could solve this problem. As if there is nothing to be done to solve a problem that, among industrialized nations, only plagues our country. If only we prayed more.

The Republican responses will be calculated so as not to jeopardize their coveted A rating from the NRA. They will be filled with empathetic rhetoric to cover the apathy in their hearts. Because, at the end of the day, they don’t give a shit. Time and again, Republicans in Congress have shown they value NRA support more than American lives. It’s beyond hypocritical for the party claiming to be pro-life, to put the Rambo fantasies of what should be a fringe group first in gun policy debates.

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If Senator McConnell spent just a fraction of the energy he used opposing former President Barrack Obama’s agenda on actually trying to fix this problem, I think more people would be alive. But, the Senator only has so much energy and he finds it easier to wash the blood from his hands than show an ounce of courage.

His spineless displays of obstruction embody the modern Republican Party. They are morally bankrupt on this issue, lacking a desire to even fix the problem. After all, consequential bills might require you to stick your neck out, better to tweet, pray, and let people continue dying.

To hell with Republican platitudes, this country needs to change. Our society has a deadly problem. People are taken from us at alarming rates. But apparently, even studying the issue is taboo for Republicans trying not to anger their omnipresent influencers at the NRA. I’m not advocating for a specific policy, but we need both parties to genuinely care about preventing murder.

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I agree with President Donald Trump’s call for unity, but we need to unite with a desire to fix this problem. But I am not optimistic. If Republicans were content continuing the status quo after Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Pulse and so many other tragedies, there is no reason to believe the videos of dying concertgoers will change their hearts. It will be added to America’s list of agonies, a list destined to grow longer if Republicans once again refuse to confront this issue.

Gun sales will boom, the NRA will continue to prosper, and more people will die. A few months from now, we’ll all be treated to another round of empty talk from politicians who care more about NRA support than dead Americans.

Will Maher ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in history and international studies.