In the days after 9/11, we published a story that Monitor readers still talk about to this day. The headline was “Why do they hate us?” and the article asked the question that a confused nation most needed. It interrupted the spiral of despair and instead reset readers on a new footing: Why did this happen, and how do we begin to address it?
This same thought was present in our planning meetings at the Monitor this week. The news of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, was numbing. The national conversations about guns, mental health, and school safety repeat with no discernible change. The miasma seems thick enough to deaden the soul and dash any sense of hope. Uvalde’s question is: What can we do?
Today’s Daily is the Monitor’s answer. It is based on one conviction: This is unacceptable.
The Monitor’s job is not to prescribe solutions. It is to show they are possible. How the United States finds progress is for Americans to decide. For years, the Monitor has looked around every corner and under every stone for different options. Today, we explore several more coming to the surface. But continuing to live with the slaughter of children in schools is not an option. We can do better than the status quo, and defending our freedoms is not at odds with protecting lives. Uvalde, Parkland, and Sandy Hook are the screaming signs of something that is broken and needs to be fixed.
Too often, values and freedoms are pitted against one another as a zero-sum either/or. Someone wins, someone loses. The Monitor rejects that thinking. Solutions are often imperfect, but they can light a way forward and reveal the unity that makes us stronger, not weaker. And finding a way to keep schoolchildren safe does not seem too unreasonable a demand.