Six Leading Rationalizations for Doing Nothing About Gun Violence

Six Leading Rationalizations for Doing Nothing About Gun Violence

A makeshift shrine to the victims of the latest Colorado mass shooting. In the wake of two horrendous gun massacres in less than a week — one in and around Atlanta , the other in Boulder , Colorado — both sides of the gun debate agree on one, and probably only one, thing: We are doomed to a tedious and unproductive debate over what to do that will soon peter out until the next massacre revives the same sad excuse for a debate. The reason nothing ever happens on gun violence ultimately boils down to two interrelated things: The Republican Party has become wedded to Second Amendment absolutism, and that produces a veto of any federal gun-safety measures thanks to the Senate filibuster and the de facto 60-vote supermajority required to pass any and all legislation. But aside from the mechanics of raw power that doom the reactions to gun massacres to tears of impotent sorrow and rage, some well-rehearsed rationalizations for doing nothing are reflexively, continually trotted out to defuse the spontaneous public impulse to just stop the madness . Their narcotic effect on debate is a testament to their real, if wafer-thin, plausibility. 1. “New laws wouldn’t have prevented this.” This rationalization comes in two forms — first in the impossible-to-rebut argument that when there’s a will to mass murder, there will be a way to commit it, which means that any particular gun regulation will produce a Whac-A-Mole displacement whereby the putative killer can always find […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.