After the Sandy Hook shooting, I took a hiatus from the blog. My thought was simple: after such a fresh wound, for such a grievous tragedy, in such a landmine field of important issues, this wasn’t the venue to talk about the problems underlying the massacre. Plainly, I’ve always put humor first in deciding what to write about, and there is nothing funny here.
However, I seem to be alone in having tact, because the issue became politicized before the bodies had been removed. And while the shooting is in no way funny, the reactions from all sides, totting this tragedy as a banner for a new world order, there are a few chuckles in that. In one of those “Oh no, there goes the Republic” kind of ways.
My reaction to the Sandy Hook shooting was like that of the attacks of 9/11. I needed to turn off the 24/7 news cycle, avoid the tweets, for the love of God not see another Facebook Chain letter, and actually process the gravity of it. For that reason alone I chastise most voices in the national debate: they haven’t stopped squawking since the attack, fueled up with the increased coverage of smaller gun related stories, and have only dug themselves deeper into one-point solutions.
In my reflections, I’ve become convinced of these things:
Like 9/11, we need to start the dialogue admitting we live in a Post-Sandy Hook era. There is a new level of super evil, a new terrifying threat that could happen literally anywhere at any time. We need to react to avoid such travesty again, but we also need to reorientate ourselves and admit that it did happen and might not be a fluke. Adam Lanza might have been a one in a million situation, but we’re a country of 300 million. Statistically, at least, we can round down and say it never happened.
So here is the His Grossness approved 5-point plan addressing the problems while focusing on the misteps so far.
1. Stop thinking the Constitution is a zero-sum game.
We don’t need to pick between the 1st and 2nd Amendment and sacrifice the other to the gods, blindly praying for this to never happen again. America needs to keep in mind that the Bill of Rights as it is, is the bedrock of our Constitution and needs to be kept inviable. You can not void the 2nd amendment without bringing into question the strength of the others. Simply put, the Constitution stands intact or doesn’t at all.
We need regulations, I assure you, and to expound on Framer’s intentions through insightful understanding of the Constitution (Finally, we’re creating jobs for English majors!).
But the current attitude is that, between violence in the media and the right to bear arms, we need to sacrifice one to pull ourselves off the brink. And if you think restricting access to firearms to law-abiding citizens will help, consider this: we’re dealing with super crazies now. Even if they don’t have a gun, we still have some super crazies out there. There isn’t going to be an easy answer (besides to read this blog, of course).
2. Stop listening to Piers Morgan.
Who is Piers Morgan, you ask? Well, good for you, because you’ve avoided the blathering idiocracy of CNN’s own british replacement for Larry King Live (who is still alive, strangely enough). But for the rest of us, who tried our hardest to remove our ears with our own hands before we had to hear Piers call for sweeping gun regulations and refer to the Constitution as “Your little book” while bringing on Super Crazies like Alex Jones (see future cult leader) to play up the role of the Far Right American Gun nut. For whatever reason, Piers has taken point in the extremist reaction to disarm America in a manner similar to England. And by whatever reason, I mean that disarming England was what he started sharpening his crooked teeth on, as an editor for the Daily Mirror rallying against Handguns.
The problem here is that we’re giving extremists playtime. Why do you really think CNN, who I would actually say is generally a respectable news outlet, lets Piers run his ground war against Americans’ right to own firearms? Because, unfortunately, he is involved in news making, not news reporting, and Piers Morgan’s crusade is bringing some viewers to watch the spectacle, bolstering the network’s hurting numbers.
Make a calculated effort to have a realistic conversation with a member of the other side tomorrow about the role of guns, media, and restrictions, and go from there. Congratulations, you’ve just demonstrated that you are more of a functioning adult than most news outlets right now.
Pt. 2 soon to follow, in which I will include the real solutions (for the low, low price of the Republic!). Until then, I guess we can all take some comfort in the fact that President Obama’s hinting at sweeping gun reform has invigorated gun sales. He may have saved the economy after all…
Brian Gross has been accused of concealing a high round assault rifle in his pants AND being happy to see you. Happy New Year!