Curtain Raiser

Can We Talk Guns as Adults, Colltalers?

Another day, another brutal shooting of a group of Americans. But we’re not planning on piling on this issue, for after what happened in Aurora less than a month ago, we must admit it, we’re spent.
There’s no escaping of what’s behind the mass murdering of religious minority members, though, or of racially-tinged killings, or why children are caught in the crossfire of gun battles. We’ve got to talk about that too soon or tragically, too late.
But in order to do that the right way, we must try first what we have refused to try so far: outlawing assault weapons in the streets of the U.S. And there’s hardly need for new laws; only a federal mandate to enforce the ones already in place.
But if you feel that it’s insensitive for anyone to invoke this debate right in the middle of the gruesome process by the victims’ relatives of collecting their fallen ones, you’re probably distracted by something else.
For even before the body count had started, the campaign to change the subject was already at pace, and even worse, religious zealots were already adding their inflammatory two-cents of hatred and intolerance to the proceedings.
Still, there’s something else even more disturbing about the regularity that these massacres have been happening: our own growing obliviousness to it, our increasing numbness to the frequency and depth of the carnage.
For it doesn’t seem likely that the thousands who showed up last week, to support a commercial fast food enterprise and its owner’s right to be a bigot, are now about to go back to the streets and tell the world they’re mad and are not going to take it anymore.
It’s a sad day in America when even the cowardly shootings of innocent victims fails to jolt us into action, when an act of bigotry (and the chance of getting some free junk food too, perhaps) easily does it.
And it’s depressing that the gun control issue catches both candidates, in so many ways wide apart from each other, sharing the same leaky boat of omission, denial and empty rhetoric. In fact, automatic weapons regulation is not even part of their agendas.
So, if haters have no problem expressing their intolerance, even in the face of a tragedy that anywhere else would likely galvanize the public debate, then to advocate for a change in our relationship with guns in this country can’t be so out of place.
Perhaps this will be it, the proverbial straw, the dropping of the other shoe, or any other tired analogy you may think of, to force those seeking to transfer their toothbrushes to the White House to come clean about what gives.
For if the future U.S. president gets elected with the (secret) donations of the gun lobby, which has managed to prevent any control measure to be enforced, then chances are we’ll still be talking about the same issue over and over again.
And only the thought of wasting even more the time that could be invested in prevention and long term help to the victims, just makes us feel incredibly sad, and, honestly, really spent.
Stay safe out there and have a great one. WC



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