Nation Struggles With Shooting ‘Solutions’
Following a weekend which saw mass shootings, in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the nation is once again struggling to find a solution to the mass shooting "problem."
Don't hold your breath waiting for anything truly productive to happen.
Here, in descending order, are the points of contention:
Guns: it's unlikely we will see any major changes in national gun legislation any time in the foreseeable future, given the powerful influence of the gun lobby. The responses so far have been predictable, with the left calling for stricter restrictions of firearm ownership and conservatives invoking the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.
While gun restriction may seem like common sense to some, a number of pro-gun commentators have noted how responsible armed citizens have been a force for good. Others see at as a liability issue, saying a solution is to hold manufacturers and dealers responsible for allowing irresponsible citizens access to guns. This latter argument has some merit, but it's hard to imagine the NRA allowing it to happen.
Research: in 1996 Congress passed an amendment to a spending bill that forbade the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from "using money to 'advocate or promote gun control.'” This has put a stop to much serious research on the subject and is inexcusable. Regardless of one's view on the gun issue, the suppression of research is an argument in favor of ignorance and the status quo.
Cultural values: some politicians and commentators have fingered the supposed decline of "Christian values" and the availability of violent video games as responsible. Even the more religious among us are finding it increasingly hard to take these opinions seriously.
Politics: while the president has made some grossly irresponsible statements, it's a bit of a stretch to hold him "responsible" for the actions of some diseased minds. The lunatic fringe has always been with us. While white supremacy and extremism is no doubt a problem for our society, how do we deal with it, and will it make a difference?
(Mental) health: this dovetails with the 'extremist" argument. Increased focus on mental illness is probably a good idea, but again how much of a difference can it realistically make?
Bottom line: expect a lot of talk, a load of the usual pandering and not much in the way of productive action for now.
[Sources: Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz.com, Reason, The Blaze, Forbes, Patheos]