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Monday, December 17, 2012

There's No Defending Our Insane Gun Culture

The other day, I pointed out that the things gun apologists are saying in the wake of a Connecticut school shooting make no damned sense at all. My jumping off point was a statement from Mike Huckabee that suggested the shooting was the result of a lack of religion in schools. It's hard to get past how offensive that is, but I managed. There are countries in the world that are more religious and more violent, while barely religious countries exist that are much safer than the US. When you compare the US to the rest of the world, gun apologists' arguments fall apart.

So it comes as no surprise that the hackish George Will offers his own completely illogical take on things.

Raw Story:


“We ought to bring in Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago,” [Will] insisted. “Chicago is an epidemic of violence with young, largely unparented — that is, no father in the home — adolescent males. That’s a problem quite separate from this.”

The conservative columnist also worried that the massacre of 20 children at an elementary school in Connecticut would be used to “ratchet up the security of schools and elsewhere in public spaces.”


See, because America is the only country in the entire goddam world with single mothers. That's supposedly why we're a war zone. But America has 88.8 guns per 100 residents. Our number of guns per capita far outstrips any other nation in the world. That's what's so remarkably different about us -- not how often we pray or how many single moms we have -- and it's obviously the cause of all this tragedy. If more guns really did mean more safety, then we should by all logic be the safest country in the entire world.

But the fact is that we're not. The "gun ownership equals safety" argument is undermined by this very crime. The first victim of the shooting spree, the shooter's mother Mary Lanza, was a gun enthusiast who owned "at least a dozen" guns. I'd say they clearly failed to keep her safe. All her arsenal did was provide Adam Lanza with an assault rifle and "hundreds of rounds" of ammunition. Her guns did the exact opposite of keeping her community safe -- and her's was hardly an unusual household. The odds are very, very good that there's a similar arsenal in your community.

If the punditry is sticking their necks out with absurd excuses that blame everything and anything but the fact that our nation is littered with guns, elected officials aren't. They've learned how to deal with the aftermath of a mass shooting; i.e., you don't deal with it at all. They're mostly lying low and waiting for this to all blow over. Meet the Press executive producer Betsy Fischer Martin tweeted yesterday, "BTW, we reached out to ALL 31 pro-gun rights Sens in the new Congress to invite them to share their views on @meetthepress - NO takers." I'm not sure where that figure comes from, but thirty-one refusals to go on a high-profile Sunday morning yack program is an incredibly high number. They say the most dangerous place in Washington is between a senator and a TV camera. They're waiting for the news cycle to move on.

Which is why it's important to make sure this doesn't blow over. Sen. Diane Feinstein plans to introduce legislation that bans assault weapons at the beginning of the next congress. It's important to keep this conversation going until then. Gun apologists are so afraid of this debate that they're running away from TV cameras. That ought to let you know whose arguments are the stronger.

We need to make sure this tragedy doesn't fade into the background, like all the senseless shootings before it. Otherwise, the next time some nut shoots the hell out of a public place, we'll wind up wondering why we didn't do anything to stop it -- just like we always do.


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