The indictment

New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik with the strongest indictment of the gun lobby (and all the supportive gun-nuts) I have read:

After the mass gun murders at Virginia Tech, I wrote about the unfathomable image of cell phones ringing in the pockets of the dead kids, and of the parents trying desperately to reach them. And I said (as did many others), This will go on, if no one stops it, in this manner and to this degree in this country alone—alone among all the industrialized, wealthy, and so-called civilized countries in the world. There would be another, for certain…

After the Aurora killings, I did a few debates with advocates for the child-killing lobby—sorry, the gun lobby—and, without exception and with a mad vehemence, they told the same old lies: it doesn’t happen here more often than elsewhere (yes, it does); more people are protected by guns than killed by them (no, they aren’t—that’s a flat-out fabrication); guns don’t kill people, people do; and all the other perverted lies that people who can only be called knowing accessories to murder continue to repeat, people who are in their own way every bit as twisted and crazy as the killers whom they defend. (That they are often the same people who pretend outrage at the loss of a single embryo only makes the craziness still crazier.)…

The people who fight and lobby and legislate to make guns regularly available are complicit in the murder of those children. They have made a clear moral choice: that the comfort and emotional reassurance they take from the possession of guns, placed in the balance even against the routine murder of innocent children, is of supreme value. [emphasis mine]  Whatever satisfaction gun owners take from their guns—we know for certain that there is no prudential value in them—is more important than children’s lives. Give them credit: life is making moral choices, and that’s a moral choice, clearly made.

All of that is a truth, plain and simple, and recognized throughout the world. At some point, this truth may become so bloody obvious that we will know it, too. Meanwhile, congratulate yourself on living in the child-gun-massacre capital of the known universe.

I’ve long been disturbed by our gun culture, seen it as completely obvious that our current policies our a total failure, and been aware of the explicit moral cost-benefit Gopnik so brilliantly elucidates.  But I’ve always been fatalistic and pessimistic about improving things.  But I’ve never been this damn mad and outraged before.  And I get the feeling I’m far from alone in this.  If you read this blog, you know I am passionate about health care policy and economic policy.  I think I just became passionate about gun policy, too.  I desperately hope there’s a lot more people out there like me and we can start to make a difference and maybe save some lives.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

2 Responses to The indictment

  1. Bob Abdron says:

    The more details I read the more enraged I get also. (The mother) Ms. Lanza was a gun enthusiast. The whole town loved their guns.

    Don’t “they” get it? WHY don’t they “get it?” Is it the eye for an eye syndrome – a potentially blind populace if carried to the extreme? Only this is condoned also by our constitution! And they get insensed if you are trying to deny their rights (to bear arms). As smart as the Founders were, this is NOT 1776 anymore.

  2. itchy says:

    Well said, Steve. I sincerely hope there are others who are passionate, too.

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