It’s the fool, not the tool. Regarding gun reform in America, we find ourselves in a precarious situation. Reform the Second Amendment piece-by-piece and alienate thousands of law-abiding gun owners, reform mental health care services and access nationwide, or accept mass shootings as a commonplace danger that people need to prepare for.
Democrats lean on the former option, and Republicans lean on the latter options. As Democrats control the executive and legislative branches, they’re poised to run through unpopular gun control measures attempting to mitigate mass shooting events.
I want to be upset about it. The state is moving closer and closer to monopolizing violence. It’s being done as only a mitigating effort to stop a horrific trend, and it’s not guaranteed to work.
Republicans often gesture every time there’s a shooting. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” We must address mental health issues that drive people to commit mass violence.
OK, yes. Mental health is a component of the problem, but where are the Republicans who want to make substantive change in the mental health care system? Destigmatize therapy? Build broader, more affordable access to professionals?
They argue for it, but when was the last time a sweeping, reforming bill was written up to do something about it? Instead, Republicans seemingly just block Democrat efforts to enact gun reform. It often works, but every time it ends with, “We tried nothing, and we’re all out of ideas.”
I want to be upset about gun control limiting our access to firearms, but I can’t be. Accepting these shootings as regular events, something we ought to expect, isn’t something we can allow. One party is ready to try something (though unproven), and the other wants to pretend they’re interested.
If it’s the fool or the tool, and we must pick one, let’s pick.
Jake Lawson, Minden