I was just as shocked as you were last Friday, but I didn’t see any point in entertaining deep emotions around something so painful and so complex that I am completely powerless to offer any sort of remedy. I shut the news off for the weekend.
This morning I tuned back in to discover two distinct camps had emerged: folks calling for increased gun control, and people faulting the mental health care system. Maybe I’m reading this wrong, because increasing gun control and increasing mental health services don’t seem like incompatible ideas. In fact, I’d say they go together better than Super PACs and oil money.
But it makes sense: gun control liberals have a strong case, while Second Amendment thumpers have to obfuscate their intentions with a duplicitous, sudden concern for the mentally ill. Not a bad cover.
Except they’re totally full of shit. Expanding mental health services is costly and would almost certainly require tax increases. These are the same assholes who have spent the whole month obstructing a fiscal cliff compromise. So you just know any sentence that comes out of their duckspeaking mouths that includes the phrase “mental health” is a red herring. While you’re off debating that, they’re busy unraveling the New Deal ideology that makes this country the least bit humane.
We’ve seen the cost in lives when we don’t take violence seriously. If we want to have a real discussion about preventing violence, we need to talk about the cost in dollars. What are you willing to pay?