Today’s political landscape is rife with puzzles and paradoxes in desperate need of Rosetta Stones. The one that I want to discuss is this: Why are we so profoundly incapable of having a reasonable dialogue about guns? National Review writer David French describes the “conversation” as hopelessly polarized. It’s as if, he laments, we are coming from entirely different worlds when processing events like the massacre that took place in Orlando.A single tragic event. Two entirely different takes on the event – one rational and the other purely emotion-driven, with the usual “Do Something!” demands upon government. Ironically, that 'something' merely makes those demanding action feel better, but does absolutely nothing to fix the actual problem. Then it happens again and the demands to “Do Something!” become more strident. Another 'something' is done, the demanders feel better that someone has done something even though, like the previous time, that 'something' does nothing to fix the actual problem. And the cycle continues.
The basic facts of that incident are not in dispute: A self-professed ISIS jihadist indiscriminately slaughtered dozens of innocent people at a gay nightclub, literally pledging his loyalty to ISIS via a phone call to a 9-1-1 dispatcher as he was committing the atrocity. Seeing this, conservatives generally zeroed in on the evil of the perpetrator and addressed the broader war on terror. Viewing the same facts, leftist commentators and pundits invariably settled on a narrative driven by a fixation on “America’s gun culture,” a narrow focus on stricter gun control, and blanket calls for “tolerance” of the “LGBTQ” agenda by conservatives and Christians.
It is no wonder that David French refers to the liberal reaction to this and other similar incidents as a “bizarro morality.” The level of disconnect has been truly mind-boggling.
How does that fix anything? It doesn't. All it does is create an increasingly wide divide and anyone addressing the actual problem and offering a workable solution are reviled as thugs, bigots, and haters.
And so it goes.