Charleston & the Politics of Evasion | Commonweal Magazine
by E.J. Dionne
As for our truly twisted national policies on firearms, even advocates of sane gun regulations are so discouraged that they don’t even try to rally us to action when horror strikes. Obama spoke plainly when he declared that “this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries ... with this kind of frequency.” But then he acknowledged that “the politics” of guns forecloses doing much at all. At best, he hoped that the American people will “at some point ... come to grips with it.”
But when will we arrive at such a point when the first argument of the gun lobby is that the solution to the problem of too many guns is—more guns? We now have an estimated 270 million to 310 million guns in the United States. Will another 10 million, 20 million, 100 million make us safer? Must we all be ready to pack heat when we go to pray for salvation from violence and hatred?
Are our politics so demented and our senators and house members so cowardly that they cannot even pass laws to keep guns out of the hands of the troubled, the insane and those with a history of violence? Apparently so.
Millions of words will be written and spoken about the victims in Charleston. We’ll deal with everything—except the need to change.