This is no time for a “conversation,” however mature and civil that always sounds. Not when the subject is America’s ever-ratcheting culture of violence. Not when the topic is mass murder by assault weapon of choice. Not when nothing has changed for the better since Adam Lanza’s evil rampage in Newtown, Ct. a little more than five years ago.
We then saw the vile onslaughts of, among others, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik in San Bernardino, Calif., Omar Mateen in Orlando, Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas, Devin Patrick Kelley in Sutherland Springs, Texas and now Nikolas Cruz in Parkland. Heinous acts all, all heinously enabled by AR-15 style rifles, high-capacity magazines and gutless, political bottom feeders appealing to the lowest-common denominators among gun owners and the highest fund-raising potential among NRA officials.
“Conversations” are politically self-serving for professional sophists and their disingenuous talking points. These are the political prostitutes misrepresenting the context of the 18th Century, “well-regulated militia”-driven Second Amendment and whoring out for the NRA. Yeah, we’re talking about you, low-caliber, Little Scruples Marco Rubio, and you, A-Plus NRA-rated Rick Scott, and you, Donald Trump, who did a gun-reform 180 once you hypocritically pivoted to run in the Republican presidential primaries.
No, it’s past the time for a societal “conversation.” It’s time to channel our inner Howard Beale. Because if we’re not “mad as hell” right now, this county is going to hell.
This means an all-out effort–from Tallahassee to Washington–to ban, yes, BAN–weapons that do not belong in the hands of anyone outside local law enforcement, the National Guard and the U.S. Military. In fact, if, indeed, you can make a case for why you should have one of these weapons, then you sure in hell shouldn’t have one. You’re beyond rhetorically dangerous.
It also acknowledges that a ban–yes, BAN–on the sale of military-style firearms weapons and bump stocks et al is not a panacea. Of course it isn’t. Not when guns and violence are embedded in our culture. Not when deinstitutionalization has kept more of the mentally impaired in our midst. Not when bureaucracies screw up behavioral red flags and background checks. Not when violence–from computer games to rap lyrics–can seem ubiquitous. But this is where you start.
Al Hoffman, the Palm Beach developer and a major GOP donor, finally said what many more influentials need to say right now. “I will not write another check unless they all support a ban on assault weapons,” he has announced. “Enough is enough.”
That’s not exactly the summit of the moral high ground, but it’s what it takes in today’s America where leadership is too often for sale. And it’s a lot more practicable than “thoughts and prayers.”