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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The gun debate ended with Sandy Hook

Two months ago, exactly, on October 2, 2015, and lord knows how many shootings ago, I was particularly struck by one such shooting. The narrative surrounding it was that those of us sharing links and information and rallying against the rampant, inexcusable use of guns in this country were hard-hearted and hard-boiled for "not even letting the bodies cool." Because when people die via bullet, in a violent, sudden and excruciating way, we are to mourn their lives, not politicize the issue.

And I get that. I do. There's a point there. Well, there was a point there in 1996, anyway. But on Oct. 2, 2015, that point no longer stands. And so I wrote the following:

When a nation's people no longer mourn for those killed in mass shootings but jump straight to indignation and politics... 

What is wrong is that our human experience dictates we digest news with horror, shock and sadness when that news is shocking and against the grain of our narrative. It knocks the wind out of us with how far it strays from the normal. 
The reaction of the people to this story is the most compelling argument for change yet...IF YOU DON'T COUNT THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS KILLED. 
It marks not a lack of morality and prudence of the public but the addition of gun violence to the daily normality in America. 
That is why we shout and share links. 
We are sad, too. But there is no decorum in a time of guns and bloodshed. In a time when I open my computer and in just a year, have gone from OH MY GOD to, fuck, another one. 
This needs to stop. 
When a nation's people no longer mourn but shout, there is nothing wrong with the people. There is something wrong with the nation.

Two months ago. SIXTY shootings ago.

Today, there were two more. Bringing the total number of shootings to 355, more than there have been days in this year. More than one shooting a day. Check it. Here are the stats.

We need to do more than share links and shout in outrage. We need to call our representatives. We need to let our leaders know that their jobs depend on their stance on the gun debate.

Because right now, we don't have a gun debate. We have a people living in a dystopian nightmare, eating cake and watching circuses to ease the national pain of thousands of deaths of our own.

I may have said something two months ago.

But Dan Hodges of The Telegraph said it best SEVEN months ago. He makes a point so poignant and true, it takes my breath away to think of it.

"In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over."

Just think about that for a moment. Really let it wash over you.

"In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over."


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