The last two days have been terrible due to the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night, which resulted in nearly 60 deaths and over 500 people injured. Those who don’t see it as a rallying cry for real legislative attempts to prevent this from happening have already started saying it’s too soon after the tragedy to talk about such a thing, which is nonsense for several reasons, including that the U.S. averages one mass shooting per day, with a “major” one about every two months.
Tevor Noah pointed this out on the Daily Show, mocking the idea that it’s hotels that need to be fixed, rather than guns:
As did Seth Meyers, asking Congress if there is really never going to be anything done about this:
And there really might not be for the foreseeable future, as they move to legalize silencers, which will make it easier for shooters to kill more people before being brought down, as well as armor piercing rounds for … reasons unknown. (NRA funding. It’s the NRA.)
If anything, it’s shameful that we—or at least lawmakers—don’t talk about this every single day until we have a solution. That solution isn’t necessarily easy, since the U.S. already has way more civilian-owned firearms than anywhere else in the world, making it difficult to turn things around just by, for instance, restricting sales. That doesn’t mean that’s not a good idea, though—only that it’s the bare minimum we need to do, and for some reason we can’t even seem to get that done and just keep slipping further from it.
It’s also worth noting that even the White House line was that it was too soon after the tragedy to talk about political action, but that’s new for Trump himself. Following the Pulse nightclub shooting, he had no problem immediately diving into his bigoted political talking points. There’s perhaps no bigger indicator that when we’re asked to be quiet about issues like this, it’s not because our critics are sincerely offended that we’re “politicizing” the events; it’s because they don’t want any action to be taken at all, if it interferes with their own politics.
That’s why I’m glad all the late night hosts weren’t quiet about it. While right-wing pundits may love to decry them as “Hollywood elites” who are out of touch with “real Americans,” apparently our Congressional representatives are the ones who don’t know what people want, as Jimmy Kimmel pointed out they voted down gun control measures that Americans—Republican and Democrat alike—support.
Someone has to represent us when the people we voted for to do that simply won’t.
(featured image: Comedy Central)
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