It’s time for conservatives to give us a plan on mass shootings

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 11.31.58 AM

Dear Rebecca:

Politics, again, is the art of the possible. One thing that’s not possible in the short-term? Large-scale disarmament of American society. Conservative writer David French, I think, gets at the dynamic here:

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 11.14.20 AM

I think that’s right. It’s either going to take forever or the destruction of society to achieve disarmament to any great degree. Let’s assume the latter will be a destructive process to be avoided, and I think  it’s fair to say we don’t want to watch children die for 100 years before we start to save them.

So what then?

It’s time for conservatives to present a plan. The ball is 100 percent in their court.

Why do I say this? Because American liberals have offered a number of ideas over the years to address the problem. They’ve been roundly rejected.

Close the gun show loophole? Nope.

Require the reporting of stolen or missing guns? Nope.

Prohibit bump stocks? Maybe….nope.

Australia-style disarmament? Nope, nope, and nope.

Conservatives have talked about beefing up mental health care in this country, and while there’s reason to believe that would be insufficient, I suspect a lot of liberals would be on board anyway. Only problem is: Nothing ever happens.

(It is rather amazing that we’ve had a series of school massacres over the last 20 years and done, essentially, nothing to try to stop it. There’s no other area of life where the routine slaughter of children — something *everybody* agrees is bad — would elicit so little action.)

So. Republicans hold the presidency and Congress. They control most of  the state governments. If there’s action to be taken, it’s incumbent on them to take it. (French,  to his credit, has offered one idea.)

Instead of debating guns versus anti-gun, let’s focus on the art of the possible. We need to challenge conservatives: “OK, we know you believe in an expansive reading of the Second Amendment. Fine. Tell us what solution you can offer, instead, to the problem of mass shootings — and give us a timeline for implementing that solution.”

Liberals, in turn, should be willing to say “yes” to almost anything that conservatives come up with along these lines. (Almost. There are exceptions.) And we shouldn’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. But ultimately, it’s not our responsibility.

Liberals have offered their vision for reducing massacres in this country. It’s not going to happen. It’s time to hold conservatives to account — you can be for the Second Amendment and still be more vigorous in tackling this problem. What are you going to do about it? When? Act, or stand aside.

Time for the GOP to act.



Author: joeldermole

Joel Mathis is a freelance writer who lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and son. He spent nine years as a syndicated columnist, co-writing the RedBlueAmerica column as the liberal half of a point-counterpoint duo. His honors include awards for best online commentary from the Online News Association and (twice) from the City and Regional Magazine Association.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s