Tag Archives: Alex Wagner

Tone and Timing are Important in gun discussion following horrific tragedy

The acts were unthinkable, the tragedy incomprehensible and the evil unconscionable. If you were frightened and confused after Aurora, you were devastated and depressed after a monster opened fire in a kindergarten class.

Many lamented it was hard to even believe the crimes committed in Newton on Friday were perpetrated by anyone even close to human.

After texting and calling as many of my friends as I could to tell them how much I cared about them, I sat at my kitchen table, my head in my hands and cried.

I hadn’t lost any loved ones. I only know a handful of people who even live in Connecticut, but as a human being I was shaken to my very core. I was physically in pain over this.

So when person after person in my social media timelines took to snarky, “I told you so” gun law rants, I was blind with rage that they would be so insensitive.

We were just a few hours after an unspeakable tragedy and already this had become a political argument, and more than that it was a condescending, sarcastic conversation.

As Tommy Christopher points out (and if you read this blog you know Mr. Christopher and I rarely agree) you are allowed to react however you want to this tragedy and if you want to talk about gun control that’s fine.

Just a few hours later, Christopher, after watching S.E. Cupp break down on MSNBC trying to tell this story, used a more measured tone to admit that not only is it important that we talk about the issues at hand here, but how we do it.

It’s understandable for someone to jump from “What a horrible tragedy this is,” to “This could have been a lot less horrific if the shooter hadn’t been allowed to have an assault rifle.”

But saying something like, “Is this a good time to talk about gun control?” is condescending and perverse. This sort of self-adulation has no place in the moments immediately following a tragedy. Why would anyone want to play the “I told you so” game when 20 kindergartners are dead?

Furthermore, there were people screaming all over Twitter and Facebook, “Gun control.” Ok. What does that mean? What do you want to see changed? And to those wondering about the timing of the discussion, we’ve been talking about gun control for 100 years. As long as there have been guns, there have been discussions about gun control.

If you weren’t involved in the discussion, that’s on you, but no one was preventing you from being involved. There are myriad anti-gun groups you could have joined, dozens of elected representatives you could call and e-mail. Don’t blame the world because you weren’t involved and even worse, don’t be a sarcastic prick when dozens of families were devastated by a mentally unstable vehicle of pure evil.

I was glad to see so many people were ready to blame our gutless politicians for failing to stand up to the NRA on things like extended clips and assault rifles. Check out what a .223 caliber rifle looks like and tell me if you think a 20-year-old (or any civilian) should own one.

But can we wait an hour or two after we know the facts to start having that discussion? It’s incoherent to me how anyone’s first reaction was “POLITICS” when my first reaction was searing pain and despair for the families, and I’m as political a person as you’ll meet.

What I was disappointed, but not surprised to see, was how easily those who yelled about gun control were to shirk responsibility for their own actions. President Obama has been rated by gun control advocates as worse than President George W. Bush who was a gun-owner himself.

Since 2007, six of the 12 worst shootings in U.S. history have occurred. In other words, almost half of the deadliest days in U.S. history took place under the watch of Barack Obama.

Where has his leadership been on this issue? If you want to talk politics, where is the Nobel Peace Prize winner when his own city of Chicago is more dangerous than the streets of Kabul right now?

The National Journal insisted that the discussion about gun laws had to start at the top. We’ll see if this is a seminal moment in the gun law discussion. I hope, for everyone’s sake that it is.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was critical of the president for not speaking out more forcefully against guns.

As much as I hope some good can come from this tragedy, I would never say that I hoped this would create ‘political capital’ like Alex Wagner did on MSNBC.

To the left, everything can be used for political gain, as Chris Matthews reminded us when he said he was glad for Hurricane Sandy because it helped President Obama win re-election.

I don’t want to make this about left and right, Democrat and Republican because I would hope on a day like today we could all recognize the urgent need to do something about the violence in this country.

Gun laws are not the only piece to the puzzle, it’s irrefutable that there is a cultural issue at play here. Poor parenting and a culture of entitlement have lead us down this path. People believe the world owes them and when the world doesn’t deliver, they freak out.

The entitlement culture has to end and that is part political, part societal and each perpetuates the other.

Gun control is one step. Taking away all guns isn’t an answer, but we can’t be so afraid to infringe on the Second Amendment – extended clip restrictions and semi-automatic assault rifle bans for civilians wouldn’t do that – that we take no action at all.

We cannot be paralyzed by this tragedy, we must be galvanized by it. Furthermore, we cannot let it divide us along partisan lines because everyone’s goal is the same: peace. We have to find ways to achieve that as a collective, or we will surely fall further and further into the dystopian hell we are building.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,