So, can we can talk about guns now?
Adam Lanza, 20, murdered 27 people including himself today; 20 of his victims were elementary school children under the age of 10.
I have two nephews of elementary school age. Julia has a son who is about fourteen months old (we were separated for around a year and both had interesting adventures, to be sure) and I have bonded with him; my thinking and emotional state are different than they were before. It makes the horror I am feeling about what happened in Connecticut that much more tangible and abject; my instinct to protect is raging at the same time I want to weep. This isn’t to say that only parents can feel grief at this tragedy, but that I lack the eloquence to express the grief I am feeling today.
The White House says today is not the day to talk about gun control, yet the President made his remarks from the James S Brady Press Briefing Room and said that ‘meaningful action’ needs to happen, so it may be possible that this Administration may actually have the political will to put gun control on the agenda for the second term. Just this week, activist judges overturned the will of the people in Illinois and made concealed carry the law of the land, and yet the hyperparanoid NRA and their supporters act as if the Obama administration have been trying to take their guns, when in fact the only gun legislation Obama signed allowed guns to be brought onto federal lands, which, if you are able to read these words you should be able to understand this idea, means that under Obama’s first term, gun rights actually expanded. It has never been easier to get incredibly deadly weapons and ammunition, but the NRA is able to more effectively elicit funds from their supporters by stoking their fear and paranoia.
We need to have a conversation that recognizes reality as well as subtlety and nuance; to think that our choices are either to ban guns entirely or to have an entire population armed is nothing short of insane. The problem is that all too often the most motivated activists on either side are seeking to create one of these two extremes without any thought to pragmatism and practicality. Despite all of our astonishing advances in telecommunications technology that supposedly make us more connected, we are losing the ability to have conversation as we become trapped in media bubbles that cut us off from each other. Changing that is a choice we each much make.
God bless the people of Connecticut and the United States of America. May we prove to be worthy in the days to come.