After Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas, in the deadliest mass shooting in American history, there were two predominant responses: cries for increased gun control in the United States, and people shouting them down while claiming that it was too soon to use this tragedy to advance any political agenda. But with an average of about one mass shooting per day in the United States, the question must be answered: is there ever a time to talk about gun violence?
Between the refusal by some Americans to vaccinate their children and refusal by others to give up their guns (or at least the ones capable of wiping out dozens of people in such short order), it sure does seem like people in the United States enjoy being killed by preventable deaths. But perhaps even more frustrating than the unwillingness to take general precautions to live safely, is the unwillingness to even discuss alternatives to the current gun laws that have allowed so many unnecessary deaths.
The call to wait until a more appropriate time to talk about gun control is a disingenuous tactic employed to avoid the conversation on gun laws. Bringing up respect for the American flag during NFL player protests of the national anthem is an easy way to avoid having a potentially uncomfortable discussion about the need for reform in policing in this country. Talk of politicizing tragedy is simply a way to kick the proverbial can down the road. In this case, the can is a gun, and kicking it causes it to fire into dozens of additional bodies each day.
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