Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thougths on Tuesday

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy I"m hearing calls to start a national conversation on gun control, and I have to tell you that I don't know where these people have been.  We've been having this conversation since 1968 that I'm aware of, and we're still having it today.  The difference in the conversation is that the pro-gun guys have advanced cogent arguments, done the research and made the case to the public.  We've had the conversation.  Every body who is coming now to the table is coming late.

The Atlantic posts an article on this very point, and it's worth reading.  In an Atlantic Wire post titled "It's Time We Talked About Gun Control," my sharp colleague Jen Doll writes, "We're going to have to talk about this; we're going to have to form coherent thoughts; and we're going to have to stop simply cleaving to our agendas and our selfish little opinions of what we want and what we think we should have -- and when 'the right time is' -- if this is ever going to get any better." But that isn't a call for a conversation! It's an assertion that opponents of gun control are selfish, and that they (not "we") are going to "have to" change their minds. It's fine to make that argument. The problem is couching it as a mere call for talking, when it is in fact an assertion that the only reasonable conclusion is that the other guys are wrong.  
The other guys (by that I mean the pro-gun types and I couch myself in those terms) have been having the conversation for over 40 years, and we've won. We've won in the public debate, we've won in the state legislatures, we've won in the Congress. We've won in the Courts.  If you want to talk about gun control, then I'm willing to have the conversation, but you'd better do your homework, have your research in hand, and be ready to defend your stance by something more than emotional appeal.

So, if you want to have the conversation, drag up a chair and pour yourself a drink.  But, be ready to have your ass handed to you.  I've already had this conversation and I'm winning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a bad feeling we are 1 supreme court justice away from not having a second amendment paw-paw. I hope I'm wrong and I hope our 5 justices hold out another 4 years.