"Politicians call for background checks because it’s the least they can possibly do to respond to yet another mass shooting and, besides which, there’s growing support for background checks even as general support for gun control declines. It doesn’t even matter that there’s no good way to use America’s incredibly flawed mental health care system to somehow populate a database of people too ill to own guns without turning them on other people. It doesn’t matter that the meagre background check system in place now flagged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof’s reported marijuana arrest, but an arrest isn’t enough to disqualify one from gun ownership. Background checks are apparently the only answer to mass shootings, because it’s the only answer politicians can offer and still get reelected. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns, the gun lobby helpfully opines – but at least then we would be able to tell the difference. Now, you don’t know until someone starts shooting. (Especially if you frequent restaurants preferred by so-called “open carry” advocates.)
There will be another mass shooting soon enough, of course. There
will be another period of mourning in which any talk of doing something
about just how many guns we have will be shushed by conservatives eager to not politicize the deaths of some new number of innocents. There will be another video to shock us and fulfil our collective
voyeuristic instincts – maybe even, as happened on Wednesday in
Virginia, a first-person documentation of another person’s brutality and
inhumanity, filmed from the only end of a gun on which we’re supposed
to want to stand. There will be another round of political promises, another round of
legislative failure, another period of time in which we all duck behind
our cars until the fear eases just enough to carry on with our regular
And then someone else with yet another gun will murder yet another
group of people, and we’ll start the cycle all over again. And you’ll be
Now what are we going to do about it?"
And now this, from the Second Amendment supporter father of victim Alison Parker, Andy Parker:
"And I know that the NRA, their position is going to be -- I can hear
it now. They're going to say, 'Oh gee, well, if they were carrying, this
never would have happened,'" Parker said. "I've got news for you: If Alison or Adam had been carrying an AK-47
strapped around their waist, it wouldn't have made any difference," he
added. "They couldn't have seen this thing coming. So I don't want to
hear that argument from the NRA, and you know that's going to happen.
And I'm going to take it on."