In the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting, the American lawmakers are under increasing pressure to deal with the issue of gun control. A bipartisan group of governors called for Congress to finally take action, while headlines across America feature one of two competing messages: “Gun control now,” or “Now is not the time to talk gun control.”
Why the duality? In the wake of every mass shooting, the debate is continually the same. The debate is perpetually stuck because, despite pleas for action, few, if any, pragmatic proposals ever surface. Instead, emotional appeals dominate headlines and television.
Unfortunately, this means nothing substantive. The “do something” mantra leaves proposals up to the imaginations of those implored. Such vagaries lead to simple criticism rather than constructive dialogue. Worth noting, despite similar single-party control of the House (2009-2011), the Senate (2009), and the Presidency (2008-2016), gun control did not take place during Obama’s presidency. The duality mentioned before is a product of a political issue that is too politically beneficial to solve.
A few things must happen to deconstruct this duality. Some harsh truths must be confronted to have a productive conversation about guns, violent crime, and gun control. The harmful and dismissive rhetoric, which is taking over the public discourse, further hampers the conversation. In such atmosphere, it is hard to reach solutions that are actual solutions, and not merely assuaging of guilt.