News Gun Nuts
posted by April 16 at 14:01 PMon
In November of 1999 a man walked into an office building on Lake Union, shot four people, and then fled on foot into Wallingford, where my family lived at the time. Here’s the piece I wrote for Salon about the shooting, my open garage door, and our inability to do anything about national gun problem. Sadly it all still applies. My conclusion:
With so many guns, so many nuts and so many spineless politicians taking orders from the National Rifle Association, it’s really only a matter of time before “it” will happen in every city in the United States. So common is gun violence that “routine” shootings don’t even make news anymore. My boyfriend was robbed at gun point, and so was my older brother; a good friend of my sister’s was standing on a street corner in Chicago with his fiance when he was shot dead by gangbangers; a friend of my family was shot and killed on a subway platform. None of these events made the news.
Sadly, when the latest mass shooting is pointed to as evidence that we need tough national gun-control laws (and a complete ban on handguns and concealed weapons), professional gun huggers and their congressional apologists cry foul, accusing gun-control advocates of exploiting a tragedy. There’s a difference, however, between exploiting a tragedy (as Columbine parent Misty Bernall did with her bestselling book “She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall”) and learning from it.
When a plane drops out of the sky, we search for the cause and pass laws if needed to prevent similar tragedies in the future. Why do we not do the same with guns? To declare the scalding proof that we need tough gun-control laws off-limits when discussing gun control—and the evidence builds with each new mass shooting—makes about as much sense as declaring the crash of EgyptAir’s Flight 990 off-limits during a discussion of airline safety.
So, another day, another mass shooting.