How ’bout now? Is now a good time?
We have asked that before. After Sandy Hook. After Las Vegas. After Parkland. After Santa Fe, Texas. And we will keep asking until this nation does something about its appalling level of gun violence.
Because it is necessary. The United States is the only country where mass shootings are essentially a daily occurrence, and still many of our leaders are paralyzed when it comes to gun control, repeatedly insisting that now is not the time to talk about it.
So how ’bout now? How about after 22 people were murdered in a Walmart in El Paso? And after nine people and the shooter were killed at a bar in Dayton, Ohio? Those shootings occurred 13 hours apart, in different parts of the country, by madmen apparently driven by disparate motivations. And the fact that it came less than a week after three were killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California further emphasized the United States’ absurd failure to recognize the depth of our gun violence problem.
The fact is that this has nothing to do with video games, and only a little to do with toxic ideology or mental illness. Other countries have those issues, and yet they all manage to avoid the spate of mass shootings that are routine in this nation. As a now-viral headline from The Onion said in 2014: ” ‘No Way to Prevent This’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” When a satirical “news” outlet best captures the national zeitgeist, maybe it is time rethink how we are approaching things.
The result is that the rest of the world is viewing the United States as a banana republic. Uruguay has warned citizens about traveling to this country, advising that they “take extreme precautions in the face of growing indiscriminate violence.” Japan has warned that its nationals “should be aware of the potential for gunfire incidents everywhere in the United States.” Britain, Canada, Germany and others have warned about potential violence in the United States.