Even if, as I do, you feel that the argument over gun control is over and that the guns won, there is still a great debate to be had over the wild paranoiac rhetoric that encrusts the anti-gun-control arguments. NRA chief Wayne LaPierre is as loose a cannon as ever has rolled across our deck, and he has spent the last three years telling anyone who will listen that the reason the president hasn't yet taken their guns is that he is planning to take their guns. This is not legitimate political rhetoric, even if it is protected political speech. This is the ranting of a madman seeking to convince other people to share his delusions. This is an appeal not even to the political Id, but to something deeper: the vestigial political lizard-brain. There is no logical reason for LaPierre and people like him to engage in this kind of unmoored provocation. Gun control is as dead an issue in our politics as the Northwest Ordinance is. The only possible explanation for why the political lunatics — to say nothing of domestic terrorists — continue to be this reckless is that they no longer are interested in protecting a citizen's right to bear arms as much as they are interested — obsessed, even — in the preservation of their own power and the profits of the armaments industries that finance the political influence through which they exercise it.
This is the second mass murder by gunfire here in a month. Is it time to talk about gun control yet? We are an armed and dangerous society at a perilous and uncertain time, and there are far too many people who look at that combustible combination of circumstances and see, not a national problem, but a financial and political opportunity. It is time to stop listening to them. It is time to deafen ourselves to the professional paranoids and the people who enrich themselves while stepping through the blood of their fellow citizens.
- Charles Pierce, Esquire Magazine
- via Bark Bark Woof Woof, who adds some of his own thoughts.