I hope I won’t be misunderstood and accused of being flippant when I say the cost of the “freedoms” of the Second Amendment is too rich for my blood. Because I mean blood literally. But I don’t mean just mine.
A friend of mine works in the news industry and he texted me Friday morning with the news about Newtown, Connecticut as soon as it hit the wire. Nothing so awful has ever happened before. And I remember thinking to myself, this is it. This is the make-or-break moment. Either they come to their senses and take the Second Amendment out of the US Constitution, or they finally sell their soul. I mean, if two dozen murdered 6 and 7-year-olds wouldn’t prompt change, what on Earth possibly could?
Now, I'm not blaming the whole United States for what happened Friday. But it's only the whole United States that can do something about it now that it has. And yet, this morning I’m reading articles about bereaved parents not expressing hostility to the gunman. The evaporation of the support for a ban on handguns that existed in the 1970s. The NRA having the ability to determine the make-up of Congress since 1994. The unlikelihood of even measures against assault rifles and high capacity magazines that expired in 2004 coming back. And I’m sitting here thinking, how can this possibly, possibly be, just three days later?
I mean, in reality, it’s bigger than just gun control. Because what in the status quo is ever going to change if something like this can’t budge a nation out of complacency, indifference, and unqualified self-interest? If this can’t generate traction on an issue and prompt real change, whatever could? What can save the United States on things like universal health care, the debt, and the future of medicare if even something like this can’t get people mad on their feet in the streets?