Guns, guns, guns

Let’s start here with this terrific post that very much reminds me of Gary Wills “Our Moloch.”

If you still bristle at the idea of gun control, fine. All I’m asking is that you call a spade a spade. To you, the right to own a gun— including one of those assault weapons that looks like what a robot might utilize to kill the enemy in a movie called Robot War 3—is more important than people’s lives. People’s lives matter less than your gun.

You may try to work your way around that statement, but evidence shows that I’m right. Nothing will stop you from believing that ownership of a gun is more important than dead people. Dozens of people killed in disability centers and churches this year alone? Worth it. Man shoots up kindergarten classrooms at an elementary school? Worth it. The knowledge that any time you’re in a remotely public place you could get gunned down? Worth it.

To you, the deaths of these people are less important than your right to own a gun…

“That’s the price we pay for freedom,” you shrug, although you’ve never actually had to pay the price. Even though there is no freedom in being scared to walk out of your house, scared to eat in the cafeteria, or go to the doctor—scared of any place with people…

But here’s my thing. On days like today, I do not care about your ideology. I do not care about mine. I care about my life. I care about their lives. I don’t want my stomach in knots every time my fiancé takes the subway to work. I don’t want people I love to die. I don’t want you to lose the people you love. I don’t want to watch any more live reporting from overhead helicopters on CNN, as they scour the perimeter for signs of life…

But you still have your guns! So It’s all worth it to you. You have to remind yourself. Go ahead, say it out loud—”Those deaths are worth it to me.”

Adam Gopnik from 2012 as relevant as ever:

On gun violence and how to end it, the facts are all in, the evidence is clear, the truth there for all who care to know it—indeed, a global consensus is in place, which, in disbelief and now in disgust, the planet waits for us to join. Those who fight against gun control, actively or passively, with a shrug of helplessness, are dooming more kids to horrible deaths and more parents to unspeakable grief just as surely as are those who fight against pediatric medicine or childhood vaccination. It’s really, and inarguably, just as simple as that.

Vox brings some data:

Gun deaths compared to deaths from AIDS, illegal drug overdoses, war, and terrorism.

Oh, and more than automobile accidents, too.

James Fallows, who knows San Bernadino well, shares some very personal reflections, and this on our politics:

Three years ago, after that week’s American gun massacre (the one at a movie theater in Colorado), I wrote about our horrific shared understanding that these killings will go on. Similar things happen in other countries, but nowhere else do they keep happening. Australia, Norway, the U.K., Canada—societies like these do something about it. A society like the United States doesn’t. Can’t. The shootings are appalling. And our public paralysis is worse…

All of these shootings are appalling. The one a few days ago at the Planned Parenthood center in Colorado was horrific. The next one will be, too, in Pennsylvania or Florida or Illinois or Texas or wherever it happens to be. And the ones after that.

It cannot go on. And at this moment, I can’t bring myself to complete the thought by saying, but it will. This is an abomination, and it is a political choice.

Finally, I didn’t know “prayer shaming” was a thing, but I’m loving it.  Especially Igor Volsky:

Following the tragic mass murder in San Bernardino, California, many elected representatives took to Twitter to note that their thoughts and prayers were with the victims and the city of the attack.

In response, Igor Volsky, the director of video for the liberal Think Progress, began retweeting them while attaching their gun control records and campaign contributions.

And on the topic, I do have to mention the Atlantic’s Emma Green could not be more wrong:

There are many assumptions packed into these attacks on prayer: that all religious people, and specifically Christians, are gun supporters, and vice versa. That people who care about gun control can’t be religious, and if they are, they should keep quiet in the aftermath of yet another heart-wrenching act of violence. At one time in American history, liberals and conservatives shared a language of God, but that’s clearly no longer the case; any invocation of faith is taken as implicit advocacy of right-wing political beliefs.

No!  These are not attacks on prayer!  These are attacks on politicians who offer only prayer in the face of massacre after massacre and dead person after dead person when the evidence is absolutely clear that smarter policy can (of course not eliminate) reduce these horrible events.

But, you know what, I feel the need to end this post by repeating that quote from above:

But you still have your guns! So It’s all worth it to you. You have to remind yourself. Go ahead, say it out loud—”Those deaths are worth it to me.”

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