When Is the Right Day to Talk About Guns?

The day after the horrific Las Vegas shooting, we heard conservative voices say

“Today is not the day to talk about gun reform.” Many of us thought, “No, today is the exact day to talk about it. When if not today? Should we wait until we become numb and indifferent again … again … and again?”

Well, it has been nearly two weeks since we heard that “today is not the day” to talk about gun regulation. And apparently the day was also not Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the following Monday, the following Tuesday, Wednesday, or today. Somehow I doubt we will wake up tomorrow and hear, “Today is the day.”

Right after the tragedy in Las Vegas, pro-gun activists went on the offensive to bat down any discussion of gun control. One Facebook post read, “If you want to ban guns, why not ban automobiles? They also kill people.” I responded, “So you’re suggesting we approach guns like cars? Okay, with cars, we have tests and licenses to drive, and inspections and stringent insurance requirements, and license plates all can see, and cops with constant eyes on drivers, and traffic cameras, and an army of ticket writers, and you can get pulled over for minor things like no turn signal even when no one is in the other lane, and car manufacturers can freely be sued, and car companies would not be allowed to sell tanks with machine guns to civilians, and you can’t just give a car to someone without transferring the title through the government, and on and on. So yes, let’s start treating guns and owners like cars and drivers, you masters of terrible analogies that prove our point.

Anti-gun reform people often contend, “It’s not about guns. It’s a mental health issue.” It is surprising these conservatives are suddenly so concerned about healthcare. If they’re serious about dealing with mental illness, maybe they would not be so enthused about stripping away people’s mental health treatment. If it is all about mental health, maybe they should not have passed a law this year that makes it easier for those with mental disorders to get guns. If they are so on edge about unstable people, why did they let one into the White House? If it is only about someone’s state of mind and not ammunition, why do we care if Kim Jong-un gets nuclear weapons? We should just send him to therapy.

I will shut my mouth now, because alas, today is not the day to talk about curbing access to guns. It is never the day. Yet it is always the day to brace for another mass shooting. I offer thoughts and prayers that one day soon this will change.

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