I was going to write about “#MintTheCoin” today, which is a movement to try and avoid hitting the debt ceiling before Washington’s ineptness fascinates us all again. Instead, I’ll use this space to talk about another way in which Washington has failed its citizens, one significantly more traumatizing and dangerous: the lack of any new kind of gun control.
In the wake of Newtown – which should still be a sleepy town in Connecticut instead of a national symbol for increased gun regulations – there were some small movements to revamp gun control. Various ideas, ranging from starting gun buy-back programs, decreasing the size of magazine clips, and limiting the kinds of bullets available, to banning semi-automatic guns and implementing Australian- or English-style gun regulations and bans, were tossed around. But nothing happened in time to stop the critical injury of student in California.
It’s tempting to cast away this shooting because it was, after all, just one kid. That represents dangerous thinking. Have we become so dulled to the pain of obviously unnecessary gun violence that just one student’s fight for life is something we can’t be bothered with anymore? This spate of unnecessary deaths has me confused as to how anybody could fight gun control anymore.
“Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Well, people with guns kill people, and that’s why both ends need to be treated. I’ve written before about the need to address mental health care in this country so the mentally ill don’t feel as if their only option for dispute settlement is the death of everyone involved. That point still applies. Yet something still needs to be done about the guns themselves. It boggles the mind that people feel the need to defend machines that were built for the purpose of killing people. There’s no reason to implement all of the simple reforms listed above, and we should ban semi-automatics too for good measure. At this point, the utility from the status quo is less than the utility from the inherent increase in safety from gun control; there is absolutely no reason not to increase our control of guns.
I try very hard to sympathize with the idea that we should let the status quo stay. I genuinely do. But when the face of the pro-gun lobby is this guy (who then goes and does this) or when Fox News has to do things like this, it becomes grotesque to defend the current state of gun control.