On this blog, I try my best not to duplicate the work of what is already been said, even if those things are damn good things that need some serious saying. That’s why I have a Weekly Link Roundup section to highlight the works of others, and why I sometimes go out of my way to highlight specific topics, like my three part series prepping for the election.
The shooting at Sandy Hook, just like the shooting at Aurora, is tragic and incomprehensible. Despite working a lot to try and study human behavior, I can’t comprehend the mind that not only allows senseless violence to continue, but actively participates in making it happen.
I’d like to stand with everyone who says that now is the time for a call to action to start talking about gun violence. But right now, I’m at a bit of a loss for words. I’m still unsettled from not having enough data to back up conclusions about what kind of legislations or solutions would be worth pursuing to help stop this gun violence, and troubled from a losing a sense of efficacy that I could actually do anything to stop these tragedies. It seems like my efforts at persuasion are best left to some topic where I can have some personal leverage.
After the Aurora shootings, I made a personal note to begin to gather data to have informed opinions about gun control. I never got around to doing that. I feel like I owe it to myself, now, to put more effort into going in that direction. To start, for the sake of something to say, I’m doing something here a little different — moving this week’s weekly link roundup from Friday to Monday, and devoting it to my favorite articles on the shooting and potential resolutions:
- To start, my friend Zach Goldman says basically everything I wanted to say about not having very good information on gun control, and about there being a serious mental health component to things that are going on.
- Cord Jefferson puts the case for why we must start talking politics most eloquently. Greg Sargent echos, saying that basically it’s a now-or-never moment [Washington Post] for tackling the issue.
- Rosie Gray attempts to explain why politicians aren’t going to talk about gun control.
- Nate Cohn makes the case that Democrats could pursue gun control legislation without losing any key votes in upcoming elections, since often those so opposed to gun control the wouldn’t vote Democrat, wouldn’t have voted Democrat anyway.
- Barack Obama’s remarks on the shooting are pretty touching.
- It’s worth noting, as Max Fisher does, that America has a crapton of guns [Washington Post] — almost double the amount of guns per person than the next top country (Yemen) and almost six times the total number of privately owned guns than the next top country (India), having 270 million privately owned guns in the country.
- Ex-Prime Minister of Australia John Howard talks about successful gun control in Australia and how that success could potentially spread to the United States.
- Mark Follman looks at data from 60 different mass shootings and finds that shootings correlate with increases in guns and that civillians owning guns have not been effective at stopping or deterring shootings.
- Nate Silver finds a shift in rhetoric about guns — since 1980, talk about the second amendment has outpaced talk about gun control.
- Ross Douthat waxes theological on the issue [NYTimes], which puts a different spin on praying for the victims. While probably not appropriate to score theological points in the wake of disasters against good-intentioned and well-meaning people, I think Douthat does it well.
If anyone has any articles or thoughts they would like to throw on the issue, especially with regard to debates over gun control or mental health, I would love to see them. Doubly so because my Twitter feed is a liberal echo chamber, which is not really a bad thing, except when I want to make up my mind on an issue.
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