COLUMN: Let’s not politicize mass shootings
That’s three now. Three mass shootings in a little over a month. 72 injured, 19 dead.
But let’s not politicize this.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this gun control debate we’re currently having is how much we’re not having it.
Due to Friday’s mass shooting at the Empire State Building where a disgruntled employee caused a firefight injuring nine people and murdering one of them, we have again received somber timely coverage from the media, where they discussed gun control as something ideal but distant.
Politicians again, after the dust had settled, either made a brief recommitment to current gun laws, or a brief mention of gun laws we should have, with no specifics or commitments on how to carry those laws out.
And again, nothing really happened.
It sounds like a case of deja vu, because it is.
Neither Barack Obama or Mitt Romney have made gun control even the slightest part of their platform due to potential voter backlash, because as usual, votes are more important than morality.
The Republican-controlled Congress is adamantly opposed to passing anything related to gun control, and the Democrats are still far too timid to bring it up.
After the shooting in Wisconsin on Aug. 5 with the body count at 18, Delaware Governor Jack Markell told the Huffington Post, “nothing’s going to happen over the next few months, and whether or not something gets proposed after that, I can’t say.”
What if people just like your mother, father, brother or sister went to something as mundane as the movies, or their place of worship, and in a split second’s notice, a small lead object slammed into their cranium, spraying their insides into the people behind them?
That’s it, their life is over, they’re dead.
Seem too graphic for a student newspaper?
It’s not. Not for this.
Maybe if we thought of these tragedies with the victims in mind instead of treating these as just occasional macabre events, we would actually commit ourselves to a conversation worth having.
Over the last six months, we’ve had congressional hearings on contraceptives, the House has voted over 30 times to repeal Obamacare, and we’ve spent hours upon hours of news coverage on the fact that Romney tied a dog to the roof of his car almost 30 years ago. And yet when it comes to gun control, that is somehow a conversation we don’t have time for?
It doesn’t matter what opinions one has. One can be adamantly opposed or adamantly for gun control. That’s not the issue. The issue is that we have long pretended that this conversation doesn’t have a place on the table.
But again, I repeat, 72 injured, 19 dead. This is on the table whether we like it or not and it is no longer a conversation we can avoid.
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