Members of Congress have been clear that they will not act to address gun violence. Demonstrating, again, that they are unfit to lead, Republicans insist that the problem is unsolvable by government, despite widespread public support for reasonable , Constitutional measures to curb gun violence. Since their hearts won’t change, we have to change Congress. We have to vote like our lives and our children’s lives are on the line here.
I suspect if old people on cruise ships and member of Congress and people sitting on Fortune 500 company boards were gunned down as often as school children, our gun laws and our gun culture would look different. As long as its kids and black people and women being targeted, too many of those who have the most power to make change do nothing except stand in the way of those who are dying without it. Voting them out and voting in the people most at risk of death by gun violence is one strategy.
It’s, as my 9th grader said recently, like insisting on which movie the whole family sees at the Cineplex, then walking out five minutes into it. Only instead of a movie theater, you’ve just voted for people to be exposed to the risk of being killed or traumatized by violence while you go back to the relatively safety of not being a teacher or coach or librarian or student.
Hell, if our military saw casualties like our schools, we’d do something differently, because the people in power fear that too many military deaths will undermine their base’s support for them.
Above, a map of dots showing the location of gun violence in the US last January through October. Other nations’ maps don’t look like this. Ours doesn’t either.
No words about family values matter if a politician won’t value children enough to address gun violence. You can’t be, I think, pro-family and also pro-gun; guns are the third leading cause of death in children today. 10,000 children in the US are killed or injured each year by guns. Most women murdered by their partners are gunshot victims; 95% of police officers killed when responding to domestic disputes are killed by guns.
Politicians who don’t care about gun violence don’t care about women and children. Politicians who have accepted mass murder as the cost of freedom are making a choice for other people that they–protected inside Congress, which is gun-free–don’t have to live with. Politicians who think that we can’t reduce gun violence lack the imagination to lead. If they don’t think this problem is solvable, how can we trust them to solve more difficult problems?*
*Yeah, I mean it. Gun violence isn’t that difficult to solve. Every other advanced industrialized nation has done it. Saying we can’t do it here is like saying that Japan or Switzerland is better than us. I don’t accept that.