Still Not the Time

July 24, 2015
Posted by Jay Livingston

Can we talk about guns now? I mean now that another angry nut has opened fire, this one in a movie theater in Louisiana. Is it finally time to talk about guns?

Of course not.  Just ask the governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal.

Now is the time for prayer, now is the time for healing. As far as the political spectrum, this isn’t the time.

 Somehow, I don’t think that Jindal will tell us when it actually is time.

Last October I wrote (here):

Guns have become the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. Even asking about access to guns seems unAmerican these days. . . When the elephant’s presence is too massive not be noticed – for example, when the elephant kills several people – the elephant’s spokesmen rush in to tell us that “No, this is not the time to talk about the elephant.”

How much time should we allot to prayer and healing before we can talk about guns? Two weeks?

Let’s do some math. Since the Sandy Hook massacre of schoolchildren (December of 2012), there have been 75 mass shootings. That’s75 shootings in about 140 weeks. That averages out to less than two weeks between shootings. And that interval seems to be getting shorter and shorter, as this timeline of mass shootings shows.* (As I wrote, “timeline of mass shootings,” I wondered: is there any other advanced country where that phrase would even make sense?) 

The two-week “this isn’t the time” rule means that the time is, well, never.

I have nothing against prayer and healing. By all means, let’s sit shiva. But don’t let it become an excuse to avoid talking about doing something to reduce the carnage.
*The graph comes from Vox

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