On August 3, 2019, a 21-year-old gunman in El Paso, Texas killed at least 20 people and wounded at least 26 others. Within hours, a 24-year-old gunman in Dayton, Ohio killed at least 9 people and wounded at least 27 others.
Instantly, the most prominent political issue on our television screens no longer was President Trump’s treasonous collusion with Russia, the Electoral College undemocratically stealing the Presidency from Hillary Clinton, or the concentration camps in which we inhumanely treat children at our southern border. Instantly, television latched onto a new tool for making money — gun control. Television didn’t feel the need to wait for all the facts to be uncovered. Continuous colorful camera coverage was all it felt it needed.
For those of us who consider gun control to be a serious issue rather than a money-making tool, there are questions we should ask. What law could we enact that would have made any difference in El Paso or Dayton? Should we enact a law that says murder really really is illegal? Should we enact a law that says the Dayton gun that was obtained illegally really really was obtained illegally? Should we enact a law that says that, for a gun purchaser who passes a background check, it’s illegal to purchase a gun anyway? These questions may, at first blush, appear flip. However, they’re intended to be thought provoking. What law should we enact, if any? What law would all people, not just good people, obey? How would a law help, really help? Why did our Founding Fathers believe it was necessary to give us the right “to keep and bear Arms”? What would the cost-benefit analysis of a law be, when comparing the number of lives hopefully to be saved to ceding the right “to keep and bear Arms” to politicians? Politicians! You know who I’m talking about: Nazis on the right, and anarchists on the left — anti-American liars and thieves. That’s what they call each other.
It’s difficult to begin a conversation about gun control when opportunism and hypocrisy drive our conversations. Can we have a conversation, when Members of Congress call our President a Nazi and our President tells them to go back to where they came from?
How can Deplorables be expected to give up any legal rights when Elites are above the law? On June 14, 1988, strict gun control advocate Carl Rowan (Black man, prominent member of the Fourth Estate) shot an unarmed teenager (White man) with an illegally possessed gun in Washington, DC when the teenager swam in Rowan’s pool without permission (undisputed facts). Existing law for assault with a deadly weapon subjected Rowan to jail for ten years, and to additional criminal penalty for illegal possession of a gun. Rowan wasn’t charged with any assault, and wasn’t convicted of illegal possession (hung jury, no re-trial). Strict gun control advocate The Washington Post published an article explaining that Rowan, rather than the teenager, was the victim (of harassment).
We should have a conversation about gun control. However, don’t we first need to have a conversation about the degree to which our politicians and pundits have lost their credibility and have divided our nation into camps of hostile opponents?
Stephen B. Benisch, August 5, 2009