Rand Richards Cooper at dotCommonweal on the latest episode combining firearms and the mentally ill. Or maybe just plain evil–who knows? What I found instructive was his description of attempting to meet pro-gun people partway a few years ago:
I was startled by the level of malice and the violently ad hominem tilt of the commentary. For a while I dove into the fray, writing a follow-up piece and earnestly engaging gun advocates on various websites. Wading through the tangled slanders, I found myself looking for someone, anyone, willing to engage in a civil conversation and a mutual effort at problem-solving. There was hardly anyone. I made outreach, and got little back but scorn.
Yes, I think that is right. Or Right. Whatever.
The young miss is upset. She realizes that if a nearby parish there had offered me a position early in my search, I likely would have taken it and it would be her classmates among the dead.
I have a hard time getting worked up about this issue anymore. I concede I live in a nation that has a fringe combining Second Amendment fanatics, a lot of money, conspiracy theorists, and the mentally ill. Nice bed they’ve made in the land of the free and home of the scared. But well-armed.
I caught a little bit of the president on tv. But instead of the anger, I wish he and other constitutional moderates would just take a few tragedies away from the spotlight. Let the folks with chemical imbalances in their brains and those who like their guns have a dance on the national stage together. Let the voices of reason take a week off. It’s not like reason has any place in American politics these days anway, right? Who listens? We’d do better to catch more people before they fall into killing rampages. Let the ones who slip through the cracks boogie with the NRA.