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The Culture of Gun Violence

Susan Estrich on

"Turn on the TV," my friend Annie said. No hello -- it has to be something bad. "The Super Bowl." At first I thought Las Vegas. But no, this must be Kansas City. A shooting. One woman dead. Twenty-two people shot. Eleven children. Here we go again. What could be more American? The schools were closed. A million people gathered to celebrate. And this.

Kids. Teenagers. A personal dispute turns into a national tragedy. Again.

When does it stop?

The short answer: It doesn't.

It's an open carry state. Last year set a record of 184 gunshot deaths. A coincidence?

The Super Bowl shooting, on Valentine's Day, was the sixth anniversary of the Parkland school shooting. Another coincidence? A group of the parents issued a statement condemning lax gun laws. Others took to social media to point out that the law wasn't the problem, or the answer, since it's against the law for juveniles to buy guns.

 

So they got them anyway.

Three people were arrested, two of them armed. Two of the three suspects detained were juveniles.

Eighty percent of the public favors commonsense regulation of guns. Instead, we have a patchwork that varies from state to state, and uneven enforcement. Every time we have a shooting, we take to our separate sides, and nothing happens. What is wrong with us? Why do we routinely accept commonsense regulation of cars and bridle at the words "gun control"?

The short answer is that "we" don't. A minority of a minority has paralyzed the political process. A minority of a minority has taken over our free will, controls the majority, turns our streets into battlegrounds.

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