December 15th, 2012
I’m a political animal. Don’t know how or why… I just get politics. I have an amazing talent for it.
Changing legislation is not a sprint (unless you’re in Michigan), especially when it concerns an issue that not only divides us as a nation as greatly as gun control does, but that divides us on how far to go and how we begin the process of getting weapons that are already on the streets off… (I’m for heavily regulating the sale of ammunition, as a good start.)
When I posted this morning that today is not the day to talk about gun control, I meant it. 24 hours. Give respect to the families and their children, before the national conversation turns to legislation. 24 hours before the deaths of these children are politicized, before the parents are investigated by a voracious and vicious news cycle and by organizations like the NRA who will demonize anyone they can to control the message.
There is nothing that waiting 24, hell even 48 hours wouldn’t accomplish, and I dare say, wouldn’t accomplish better. Right now, this entire country is reactionary, and reactionary politics is never a good thing (see P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act). Also, the reason people want to talk about it now, is because they’re angry now.
Changing laws like this or talking about changing laws like this when tempers are flared does more harm than good, in the long run. The only way to truly ensure that this doesn’t happen again, is to keep this open. Don’t forget, but next week, next month, six months from now, most people will be iffy on gun control and the burners on the stove will rotate again.
There’s too much to fix in this country and too much obstruction in our nation to fix it.
Things weren’t going to get accomplished today. People got to whine and complain and bitch about a problem that is always a problem immediately after a tragedy. It’s not a matter of the NRA telling you that “now is not the time”… Why are you allowing your opponents to set the rules of engagement? If an issue is important to you, you make the time, you let your voice be heard. You don’t kowtow and say, “Okay… we’ll talk about it tomorrow… We’ll talk about it when you want to discuss it.” If the time is NOW, the time is NOW, and there was time after Gabrielle Giffords, time after Virginia Tech, time after Columbine…. If the ball was dropped it was not dropped by the NRA. It was dropped by those of us that feel that guns are a serious problem in this country. And, the only way to change that is to take ownership of how and when the ball got dropped, so that it doesn’t happen again.
The Sunday shows will be filled with this topic, so no matter how many people ask, “If not now, when…” ”When” can be on Sunday or perhaps even as early as Saturday over breakfast.
The people in Newton deserve a chance for the news to sink in a little bit… to be hugged and embraced, before they are held up in the bright glare of the media spotlight. They have wounds that may never completely heal, and there will be reverberations of this tragedy for years…
I am a political animal. I know how to get things done. And, if my niece had been a victim, I would have told everyone to go straight to hell for politicizing her death on the day she died.
24 hours. Maybe 48.
The families in the entire community deserve that.
We dropped the ball. That doesn’t mean we get to overstep boundaries or respect in our guilt. That means that this time, we have to do better.