Friday, December 14, 2012

Tell Me Again Why It's "Too Soon" To Talk About Gun Control

When I first saw the story of Friday's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, my first reaction was almost boredom.  That would turn out to be the most positive emotion that I would have that day.  The fact that this being the second public shooting this week isn't the most astonishing thing about this story should at least give us some pause.  What really hurts my heart, and I'm sure the hearts of most people, are the victims.  Of the 27 people killed in this shooting, 20 of them were children, some as young as 5 years old.

The most powerful emotion that I feel at this tragedy isn't sorrow, or even anger.  Oh, those emotions are there too, just below the surface.  No, the emotion I feel most right now at this moment is disgust.  Disgust at the shooter, at the current and past administrations for not having the balls to stand up to the NRA, at the NRA itself who have successfully stifled any efforts at stricter gun laws, and most of all at the gun nuts in this country who will accuse anyone who even hints at talking about gun control of politicizing the tragedy.  These are the people who repeat the standard NRA talking point that it's "too soon" to begin any discussion about stricter gun laws.  Today's shooting takes place just four days after the previous shootings in Portland, Oregon and Atlanta, Georgia.  Then, as now, they made the tired old claim that it's too soon, which is the same claim they made after the Aurora, Colorado shooting this past summer.  What I'd like to know is when does it actually stop being "too soon" to talk about gun control.  When do we get past the tired old right-wing talking points?  When do our elected officials stop being so impotently afraid of the gun lobby and start finding ways to keep these assault weapons out of the hands of crazy people?  What has to happen before we get to the point where we can have a real discussion about our out of control gun culture?  If 20 children dying in a hail of bullets isn't enough to at least start this conversation, then what will it take?

To the NRA, and you gun nuts who blithely give money to them.  Tell me again how this about maintaining a "well regulated militia" even though we have the best regulated militia in the world.  Tell me how this is about your Second Amendment rights and the need to protect yourself against what you see as a tyrannical government, despite the fact that said government has even bigger guns and more of them, not to mention tanks, grenades, rockets, missiles, and nuclear launch codes.

Tell me again how you will defend your right to bear arms to the death despite the fact that over 94,000 people were killed or injured by guns this year, yet record numbers of Blacks and Hispanics voting Democratic in the 2012 Presidential election motivates you to deny them their right to vote. Tell me why this is not hypocrisy.

Tell me again why you need a high powered assault weapon for hunting, and tell me why you need armor piercing rounds.  I've never seen the correlation between shooting defenseless animals for mere sport and manhood in the first place.  Seriously, just how is it a sport if the animals can't fire back? And unless Bambi has recently joined an Al Qaeda training camp, the military style weaponry some of you Appalachian gun nuts advocate is beyond overkill, literally.

Tell me again why you need a 30 round semi-automatic weapon for home protection.  If you're such a horrible shot that you need 30 rounds to hit the guy carrying your big screen TV, not only should you not have this type of gun, you shouldn't be within 100 yards of any type of gun other than the caulking variety.

Tell me again how you're such a man's man that a Black kid wearing a hoodie and carrying nothing more harmful than Iced Tea and Skittles, or Black kids sitting in a car with loud music, can intimidate you to the point of being afraid for your life.  Tell me how your gun is a symbol of your American pride, but the thought of walking or even driving through an inner-city neighborhood of African or Hispanic Americans who own guns fills you with mortal terror.

Tell me again how talking about gun control is "politicizing" the deaths of innocent people, when you had no problem politicizing the deaths of four embassy workers (including an Ambassador) in Benghazi to witch-hunt Susan Rice out of Secretary of State, or politicizing the deaths of 2,500+ civilians on 9/11 to scare the nation into war with Iraq.

Tell me again how we don't need stricter gun laws, and that we should better enforce the ones we have, even though in at least two shooting cases the guns used were purchased legally by the shooter...within the laws we already have.

Tell me again how if the teachers were allowed to carry guns this wouldn't have happened, and then name one incident where a cop (or a soldier) having a gun actually stopped someone from shooting at them.  Tell me how having even more guns in this country would stop all gun violence, despite the fact that the most war-like countries in the world are the ones where most of the citizens have guns.

And finally, tell me again why it's too soon to talk about gun control at all.  Tonight, because of one hopelessly deranged individual with a gun, 20 families who were planning to spend Christmas with their children are now planning funerals for their children.  When this is the reality that we have to deal with, it is not "too soon" to talk about gun control...its too late.