NY Times: ‘Moms and Guns’

A New York Times opinion piece by writer Timothy Egan.

It passed with little notice when an 11-year-old boy shot and killed an 8-year-old girl a few days ago in Tennessee — shot her because she wouldn’t show him her puppy. The boy used his family’s 12-gauge shotgun to kill the second-grader.

It passed, as these things do in a country that accepts more than 33,000 deaths by gunfire every year, because we now live by an Onion headline that’s long ceased to be satirical: “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”

The mass shooting in Roseburg, Ore. was followed by cowardice and rationalizations from leading politicians and would-be politicians. Donald Trump, who has an answer for everything, said nothing could be done, because “It’s the mind that does the shooting.” Jeb Bush shrugged and said, “stuff happens.”

And Ben Carson implied that the nine victims in the community college massacre were somewhat to blame because of their passivity during a split-second of life-ending horror. Carson was ignorant of the actions of an Army veteran, Chris Mintz, who tried to stop the Roseburg killer and was shot seven times.

Carson, who is a crackpot on political issues, then went one further, claiming absolutist gun rights are more important than human lives: “I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”

So don’t look for solutions from the political system, which can’t even produce a background check measure supported by 90 percent of citizens. The system is not only broken, but rigged on behalf of a lobby of fanatics who control one political party, forcing it to respond to mass killings with ever more incoherent statements.

We should look, instead, to the mothers of America. The politics have to be replaced by the personal.

[ The New York Times ]