There was an Onion piece a few months back that had a satirical headline that read something to the effect of “Country celebrates third straight week without a mass shooting.”
Unfortunately, the truth behind the satire is yet again proven with the mass shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, coming days after a shooting in an Oregon shopping mall, that took 3 lives (including the gunman who took his own life).
Now we’re mourning the deaths of 20 children and 8 adults.
And we’re all worried about discussing gun control because we don’t want to politicize a tragedy.
The problem is these mass shootings are becoming much too commonplace, and we’re holding our tongues, wringing our hands, waiting for the “right time” to have a frank discussion on gun control, and we end up never having that talk – it seems like each time we allow ourselves to bring it up, something like this happens, and yet again, we’re gummed in self-imposed exile.
A few months ago, Matt Bors wrote a brilliant comic NRA (Not Really Accountable). Click on the link below – and do yourself a favor and look at his other works as well:
The president released a televised statement – full of emotion – the kind of emotion one would expect from a father, but he said “Today’s not the day” to discuss gun control.
And I have to respectfully disagree with the president. We have to discuss gun control – but more than that, we have to do something about it. Our gun laws are laughably lax – in some states, even folks who are suspected terrorists can purchase guns (interestingly enough, being a suspected terrorist can get you bumped off a plane, even killed without a trial, but you may be able to buy a gun).
If Friday’s killer obtained his guns illegally, then my argument is unchanged. After all, this guy didn’t steal his weapons from the army. If you trace back the road of a weapon from a murderer’s hands, you’ll probably end up at a federally licensed vendor or dealer. And that’s wrong.
Many will say that gun law advocates are using this tragedy, exploiting it, playing on cheap emotion. It’s not cheap emotion – it’s raw, angry emotion.
Others will also say that the families of the victims don’t want to participate in a “debate” and that they should be able to heal. And those people are right – the families and friends of the victims and survivors should have all the time and space they need to heal. But the rest of us that didn’t have a personal stake in this tragedy don’t have the luxury of opting out of this debate.