2013 has to be the year where things change. At least, that’s what Inquirer columnist Annette John-Hall thinks. “The story of gun violence, and our efforts to stop it, is not only the story of 2013, it is the moral crisis of our time,” she says, in her column from yesterday. She continues:
So why do I feel our resolve is already weakening when it comes to this terrifying issue? Are we so callous in our collective consciousness that we could seamlessly shift to a vapid debate about the gratuitous violence of Django Unchained once the 26 victims of real-life violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School were buried?”
She’s right on point. For example, what should have been a televised discussion/debate about guns and what to do with them turned into a crazy person shouting match, and then turned again into a “controversy” over something an unrelated person said on television. The discussion should have been about where we can take this forward to help save lives (and, depending on where you fall on it, do so while protecting people’s rights), but instead it turned into a “Don’t you dare take my guns/Don’t you dare mention shooting a gun at me on TV” pissing match. It’s happening on TV, radio, Facebook walls, Twitter feeds, and sidewalks every day.
From football teams wearing Sandy Hook stickers on their helmets, to the NRA-supported National Gun Day (which John-Hall compares to the similar Chick-Fil-A Day last year), both sides of the debate are happy with mostly empty gestures. But as John-Hall says (and we agree), “Even with a presidential mandate, we know all too well how political will can fizzle.”
We don’t yet know how to President’s task force/panel on gun control (which features Police Chief Charles Ramsay) and the work of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (which features Mayor Nutter) are going to turn out. But we know that 2013 can be the year things change, or the year they get worse. You can read John-Hall’s column here.