Since He Was in Kindergarten

Jack Healy and Liam Stack, writing for The New York Times, report on another school shooting that left one student dead and eight injured. The money quote is this―

I heard a gunshot,” said Makai Dixon, 8, a second grader who had been training for this moment, with active shooter drills and lockdowns, since he was in kindergarten. “I’d never heard it before.”

He’s had to undergo active shooter drills since he was in kindergarten. Is that a way for our children to learn?

These types of shootings are now a normal way of life in these United States of America. The Grief — Outrage” cycle is now background noise. Killing has been normalized and no amount of political will can change it. It is a deeprooted cultural, social, economic and political dead albatross around this country’s neck.

In my opinion, this country will continue to have gun violence in schools, churches, movie theaters, and concerts until enough people stand up and take the guns away. I don’t want gun control. I want gun prohibition.

I’m reminded of a piece by Dave Holmes for Esquire back in the carefree days of practically a year ago.

Hey there, NRA:

Listen, I know the moments after a gunman opens fire in a school are hectic for you. You have to get your talking points together, you have to mentally prepare to debate a traumatized yet sensible child, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and practice saying that more guns would have made the situation less deadly. It’s a busy time! And since we are always either in the moments after or the moments before a mass shooting, you’re pretty much always busy, I have noticed!

Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I now actually do want to take your guns.

All of your guns.

Right now.

It wasn’t always this way. I have responsible gun owners in my family. I’ve never been a fan of shooting at things myself, but guns sure do seem to have brought joy into the lives of some people I love, and as long as they were stored properly, I never had a problem with them being around. I believed that we should place a hurdle or two between a psychopath and an AR-15, but that’s about as ardent as I got. Live and let live, that was my policy. Even with death machines.

That has all changed. And you changed it.

All along, as American life has gotten deadlier, as our kids have gotten less safe in their schools, you have had the opportunity to work with the vast majority of Americans who support the sensible reform of our gun laws. You have had the chance to preserve your own rights as we work together to keep our gun regulations in step with gun technology. You haven’t.

All along, there have been opportunities for sensible, incremental changes. This year alone, we could have banned the manufacture of bump stocks, which turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones. We could have raised the minimum age for gun ownership from 18 to 21, or instate a national minimum age for long-gun ownership. We haven’t, largely because you have bought our government.

What you have done is double down. What you’ve done is convince your members that the occasional school shooting, the odd literal slaughter of innocents, is an unfortunate but inevitable quirk of American life, a thing that is necessary to preserve freedom. You have taken to our television screens to tell us that the world is an apocalyptic hellscape, and that the only way to be safe from gun violence is to stock our homes with guns.

Who will fight for gun prohibition?

May 8, 2019


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