I’m going to take this time, since people seem to enjoy reading my blog, to express my frustration over the tragedy that occurred in Newton, Connecticut, when 26 people—20 children—were murdered. I made the apparently senseless error of immediately venting on Facebook, asking, “How many kids need to be killed for there to be changes made to US gun laws?”
Some people think it’s inappropriate to be discussing gun control immediately after the massacre, while the country is mourning, while shock levels are still so high. But please, tell me, when exactly is the appropriate time to be having these conversations? What is the time frame post-school shootings for when America has healed and can begin questioning how and why something like this can happen so frequently here? For the parents of those 20 children and the families of the 6 adults, I wonder what the time frame is for them?
I have trouble understanding people who say that gun regulation would have little consequence in America. That “bad people will always find a way.” In America that does seem to be the case, a country that can likely boast the distinction of having the highest incidence of gun violence in the developed world. But of course we do, “our culture is different!” Those silly Canadians and Europeans have microscopic homicide deaths by firearm compared to the United States, but there’s no point in looking at those numbers because, “We aren’t like them.”
Ah, yes. American culture. So enduring, imperishable, utterly changeless. Our laws are in place and that’s just the way it is. Because apparently culture is stagnant, and looking elsewhere to see the regulations other countries have in place is just a waste of time. Well, I take issue with that, I take issue with the assertion that regulating gun access and banning assault weapons won’t bring any results. I take issue most of all with the people who think doing nothing at this time is the appropriate action, that being angry is insensitive, disrespectful to the families affected. There is no better time than now to politicize this issue, when emotions are still high, when media coverage is constant, to demand change.
Or we can do nothing and wait out the grief period, a period that will be eternal for some, and just hope that nothing like this happens again in the meantime. On and on the cycle goes.