My condolences go out to the families of the victims at fill-in-the-blank. I know the gun-manufacturing industrial complex has dubbed the wake of a tragedy as an inappropriate time to talk about their product. So lets just eulogize the lives of the people lost to a fill-in-the-blank with his/her/their arsenal of fill-in-the-blank. They were innocent victims who didn’t deserve this. We’re all shocked.
The twitterati are focused on the public figure who scheduled a tweet that came out when the story was breaking. It was so inappropriate! They’re appalled. There’s an apology.
I refute the fantasy about how all gun violence can be solved by more guns, that if there were just more armed guards or more civilians packing heat, there would never have been a shooting at fill-in-the-blank. It’s just not true. fill-in-the-blank was going to shoot up fill-in-the-blank regardless of a suspicion that someone else would have a gun. I bring up the armed guard at Columbine. I bring up the armed citizens confused about who was shooting in Tucson when Gabby Giffords was shot. I bring up the mass shootings at military bases.
Talking heads use this time of national mourning to pay brief lip service to mental health care, violent video games and movies. It’s brought up by those who want to believe that it just can’t be as simple as easy access to weapons making for easy access to victims. The video game/violent movie connection is dismissed as pseudoscience and a red herring.
Fox News chirps that the tragedy at fill-in-the-blank is a distraction from Benghazi and Hillary Clinton must be happy about it.
Paranoid militia wannabes will say fill-in-the-blank is an elaborate ruse so Obama can take their guns. They say this after every fatal shooting and yet they still have their guns. Eventually, the yarn goes, it’ll have to be true. Obama is just trying to trick legal gun owners into a false sense of security by not taking their guns after the first 74 school shootings in his tenure.
Weapon manufacturers in spite of the shock and horror at fill-in-the-blank say they believe in the Second Amendment as an absolute god-given right of every American. They ignore/deny/edit out the “well-regulated” part of the Amendment.
The latest bloody horrific shooting at fill-in-the-blank is tempered by gun fetishists proclaiming that crime is down. Violent crime is down, they say, it’s a hysteria on The Left that there’s an increase in violence in this country. “The numbers don’t lie!” Relax, crime is down. We’re safe. Guns make us safer. From guns. Buy more guns.
We have to go to the third world to make ourselves feel safe from death by a gun. In the developed world, the U.S. has the most guns and subsequently the most gun deaths. If more guns indeed made us safer, then we’d have the least gun deaths in the industrialized world. Japan has no guns and therefore very few (if any) gun deaths a year.
The problem, arms dealer’s lobbyists say, is illegal guns. It’s the guns they make that get into the wrong hands (which, because of an act of Congress, they’re in no way liable for). “Why are you always trying to take away legal guns?” They ask.
I counter with the fact this latest shooting at fill-in-the-blank was with a legal gun. This latest one and a ton of others go down with legal weapons because we have so few gun laws that save being a convicted felon it’s actually pretty hard to have a gun that’s illegal.
But after this mass shooting resulting in fill-in-the-blank deaths, it’s clear that we’re being held hostage by people with guns ... and by people who sell guns.
But this time it’s different. This time there’s a sea change. This time we’re outraged enough to do something!
(Tina Dupuy is a nationally syndicated op-ed columnist, investigative journalist, award-winning writer, stand-up comic, on-air commentator and wedge issue fan. Tina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)