There’s no sense deluding ourselves. The killings don’t matter. The all-powerful gun lobby has already begun revving its engines, and we no longer even consider that a change in the firearm laws might be possible. Soon the apologists will tell us that guns don’t kill people—an outrageous lie on the face of it—and that asking for change is a shameless use of tragedy to further a political agenda.
Me, I remain astounded, disgusted, bemused in a horrible way. I live just a few miles from the headquarters of the National Rifle Association, and I pass the big, glass-sheathed building at least once a week. Every time I do, I wonder what would happen if a deranged young man—because that’s more often than not who does the shooting—were to appear in the NRA’s lobby armored and armed to the teeth with Glocks, assault rifles, grenades and shotguns. Does the NRA have a contingency plan for such an event? And if a massacre were to occur there, would we in the aftermath hear that same ridiculous falsehood? Well yes, of course we would. Presidents have fallen, as have Congressmen and Congresswomen, students, elderly people passing by and small children playing in front yards, and still the refrain remains.
What the latest outrage points to is the great cowardliness of our elected officials. It pains me to remember that Obama addressed the gun issue during his first campaign, and has refused to consider it since his arrival at the White House.
Gun-based outrages often beget legal outrages, such the laws passed by several state Senates allowing the carrying of concealed weapons without permits. In
And remember, you heard it here first.