It happened again today. An armed gunman killed multiple people, many of them children. He walked into a school and started shooting. Children. He started shooting children with what appears to be a civilian version of a military semi-automatic rifle.
I've written about this before. I wish I had not.
When the gun-nuts, yes I will use that term, spoke out that more guns were necessary. They said that if everyone had a firearm, or at least, if more people had them, then the shooter in the movie theater could have been stopped.
In "If only someone else had a gun" I addressed the sheer lunacy of that argument for *more* guns.
In "Violence in the Movies and Gun Nuts" I explored why we, as a society, need to keep entertaining ourselves with violence and why we do so.
Then, in "If you want peace..." we got to consider the people who really, really, really like guns and how they are the impediment to peace in this country.
And it happened again today.
Here is what I will predict will happen next -- besides the next killing I mean.
Outraged people will cry, "Enough!" and demand the banning of firearms in this country. They are perfectly in their right to make that statement. I completely understand their outrage.
On the other hand...
People who are gun-nuts, the other end of the spectrum, the ones who really really really like their guns, the ones with the "I love Coffee and Guns" faux Starbucks stickers on their pick-em-up trucks, will become what they mostly already are; afraid.
They will be afraid of losing their guns.
Yes, they will be afraid. They will cry about their Second Amendment rights. They will re-frame the exact words in that amendment, ignoring the first few, in their justification for little or no effective controls on the massive distribution of firearms in this country.
Here are the two ways it appears historically:
Can you guess which four words they insist on ignoring?
Here are some reported facts that they will also choose to ignore and ignore and ignore.
They are taken from this Washington Post article.
They will do everything to ignore the fact that, since 1982, there have been at least 61 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii. In most of those cases, the killers had obtained their weapons legally Legally. That's Legally.
Then there is the fact that "
And they will ignore that many other rights and privileges in our society are regulated to one extent or another.
The last magnificent manipulation they will attempt is to ask us not to have this conversation now, to not 'politicize' the deaths of children by wanting to talk about what to do about this.
So, if now is not the time, just when would be good for you? Would next week be OK? How about in January. Would that be a good time to talk about the ease with which someone can slaughter innocent citizens in this country? Would that be a good time to discuss the Gun Culture (it sure does exist, yes it does) and how to change that?
But basically it comes down to a very vocal and angry/afraid subset of this population that really really really likes their guns. They really do. They don't want any regulation on the possession of their guns. They see this as an infringement of their rights. They see everything as a slippery slope to losing their guns.
And that makes them afraid. It makes them afraid enough that they forget their much vaunted "personal responsibility." What do I mean by this? I mean that, they are so enamored of their guns and so afraid that someone will take them away, so selfish in their desire to be armed, to have these magnificent, loud, destructive toys, that they would rather see children gunned down in schools than agree to any reasonable controls on firearms.
Does this mean I'm joining the ranks of those who, on completely understandable outrage, cry, "Enough! Ban all firearms! Enough!"
No, it does not. I don't think it's practical or feasible to do so.
Twenty-seven people died today. Twenty-seven people. Of that, at least 18 were *children*. Children.
The only thing that needs to die is the Gun Culture in this country.
I'm calling out the gun-nuts, the NRA, the gun-lovers, the gun-rights-advocates, to step up and help do something about this problem.
I'm not expecting an answer any time soon.