It's been just over eight years since the assault weapons ban expired, and in that time new gun control bills have been scarce. There are a variety of reasons for the legislative silence, including a cowardly lack of political will, but two of the primary causes are as follows.
First, it's difficult for the government to regulate firearms while it's been actively engaged in, until recently, two wars and countless other military actions around the world. By the way, how do we explain to our children that there are peaceful, rational means of resolving conflicts when our government appears to be incapable of such pacifism? When discussing the root causes of gun violence and mass shootings in America, I'd like to see Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention previous American wars, listed as suspects in this debate before we start targeting media and video games. See also Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine.
And, secondly, radical gun fetishists and primarily the NRA have been supremely effective with clever marketing and misinformation campaigns. You've probably seen many of their finest agitprop slogans plastered all over Facebook, Twitter and the right-wing blogosphere these days. They're artfully designed to be digested by people who desperately want them to be true -- in this case, kneejerk gun enthusiasts starved for solid, airtight, easy-to-remember trump cards that are capable of defeating liberal gun control arguments with swift precision. Unfortunately for them, the slogans are about as thin as the bumpers stickers they're printed on.
PROPAGANDA: Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
REALITY: This is probably the most prevalent, yet silliest line. [continue reading]