(During our time together The Curmudgeon has written occasionally, but not too often, about guns and the havoc they are wreaking on our society. In light of last weekend’s events in Orlando he is devoting this week to the issue of guns. A few of the pieces are new and others are from the past – in one case, only two weeks ago.)
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Across the country, people – okay, let’s be more specific, conservative people – are protesting the politicization of last week’s act of domestic terrorism at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.
The Tea Party did it.
Fox News did it.
Various conservative web sites did it.
The publisher of the Roseburg (Oregon) Beacon went so far as to declare that President Obama isn’t welcome in his town because he’s politicizing the shooting.
And Ben Carson, a doctor who lacked the courage of his convictions to state simply on national television that childhood vaccinations are safe and a good thing, had the audacity to criticize President Obama for politicizing the shooting.
To all these criticisms The Curmudgeon simply offers this:
If not now, when? If a man opening fire on a Planned Parenthood clinic, killing three and wounding nine others, doesn’t make this an appropriate time to launch a discussion about the easy availability of guns then when, please tell us, is a more appropriate time?
When it happens again?
How many times must it happen before some people will concede that it’s finally an appropriate time to talk about it?
And in this particular situation, wasn’t this politicization of the gun issue the direct – direct – result of the politicization of the fabricated controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood?
You know, Planned Parenthood: the organization that hasn’t done anything illegal?
The organization that helps women obtain a service that many oppose on understandable moral grounds but that is nonetheless entirely legal in this country?
The organization that has been attacked based on skillfully edited and misleading videotapes that, even at their worst, don’t even remotely suggest anything approaching illegality or wrongdoing?
And hasn’t the emergence of this matter as a major political issue constituted the politicization of women’s access to health care, including access to a service that, while many oppose it on understandable moral grounds, is nonetheless entirely legal in this country?
And wasn’t this shooting also the result of the politicization of the Planned Parenthood issue in states that have threatened to prohibit Planned Parenthood from providing any Medicaid-covered services – states like Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Ohio?
Abortion is legal in this country as the result of a series of political processes over the years and as a result of judicial actions that are the product of political processes. Those who disagree with what those political processes and judicial actions have produced have every right to seek to reverse them. To do so, they must politicize the issue – as they have been doing for many, many years. This is their right.
Possessing a gun is legal in this country as the result of political processes over the years and as a result of judicial actions that are the product of those political processes. Those who disagree with what those political processes and judicial actions have produced have every right to seek to reverse them. To do so, they must politicize the issue – as they have been doing for many, many years. This is their right, too.
So it is certainly within the rights of those appalled by yet another mass shooting in this country to point to yet another mass shooting as further proof that something must be done to curtails easy access to guns. That is part of the political and governmental processes in this country.
And no one – no one – has the right to tell them that now, or any time, isn’t the right time to attempt to address this or any other issue.
In this particular situation, moreover, there’s no better time, and no more appropriate time, to call this to the attention of our fellow citizens than when one of those fellow citizens picks up a gun, regardless of the reason, and decides that he’s going to shoot and kill people and when we are still grieving over the senselessness of this unconscionably violent act.
Politicize the recent events in Colorado Springs?
If not now, then when?
How many times do we have to go through this before it becomes the right time to talk about it and consider doing something about it?