I Have a Message for Those Saying Now Isn’t the Time to Talk About Gun Violence

After the atrocious massacre that happened in Las Vegas, the last thing I want to hear anyone say is, “This isn’t the time to have a debate on guns.” Words cannot express how sick and tired I am of hearing that line.

It’s what they said after mass shootings at:

  • Columbine: 13 killed
  • Aurora: 12 killed
  • The Navy Yard headquarters: 12 killed
  • The New York immigration center: 13 killed
  • Sandy Hook Elementary: 26 killed
  • Virginia Tech: 32 killed
  • Pulse Nightclub: 49 killed

It’s what they said a few weeks ago after a madman opened fire on members of Congress practicing for a softball game. It’s what they say after every high-profile shooting where their ridiculous pro-gun propaganda is debunked by facts, common sense, and reality.

While I’m absolutely heartbroken over the lives lost in Las Vegas, sadness wasn’t the main emotion I felt after first hearing about this story.

I was horrified and pissed off. 

This continues to happen and we don’t do anything about it. In fact, Republicans are actually trying to make the problem worse, as evident by the fact that they were trying to push through legislation that would make it easy for ordinary citizens to purchase silencers and armor piercing bullets.

Because that’s what our Founding Fathers meant when they wrote the Second Amendment.

I’m done grieving over these spectacles of mass death sponsored in part by the NRA and the Republican Party. Not because I’m heartless, but because grief isn’t getting us anywhere. It’s an emotion exploited by Republicans, the NRA, and gun fanatics to shield themselves from having to defend the very policies they support which lead to thousands of Americans dying needlessly every year in this country.

Oh, no, now isn’t the time to talk about guns. Think of the heartbroken families and lost lives. How dare you politicize such a tragedy!

To hell with that. This isn’t a “political” issue anymore, it’s an issue of a group of people which absolutely refuses to face reality and look at common sense solutions, versus those who do understand reality, but are powerless to do anything.

The reason why I’m not longer going to allow myself to fall into the “grief” stage following these acts of pure evil is because I’m thinking of the families of the victims and those who lost their lives, not just those impacted by the Vegas shooting, but from all our country’s out-of-control gun violence, both past and present. I’m thinking of the people who are alive right now, out there somewhere living their lives the best they can who, unbeknownst to them, sometime in the future, are going to be the victims of our next mass shooting.

Those who say “now isn’t the time to talk about guns” claim it’s out of respect for the victims.

That’s bullshit.

They don’t want to talk about guns right now because they know they can’t defend their propaganda.

The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun!

Fact: Nevada is a state, like many others, where openly carrying firearms is perfectly legal in most places. That means “good guys” and “bad guys” look identical up until the point the “bad guy” opens fire.

Criminals don’t obey laws, so they’ll still find ways to get the guns with or without regulations!

Actually, no, they won’t.

Here’s another fact: Selling fully-automatic machine guns is against the law in this country, unless the guns were registered with the government before the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 took effect. To buy one, you’d need to first register with the government and be fingerprinted. That’s why you almost never hear about mass shootings being carried out with fully-automatic weapons — because they’re next to impossible to get thanks to laws and regulations on those types of firearms.

If criminals were able to get any guns they wanted despite laws and regulations, trust me, we’d see fully-automatic weapons being used all of the time.

Also, last I checked, in other major countries with strict gun laws, they experience a fraction of the gun violence that we do in the United States. So, why aren’t criminals running amok with guns in those countries?

Then there’s always Australia. After passing several reforms restricting gun ownership, not only did Australia eliminate mass shootings completely, but gun-related homicides and suicides fell as well. The easier it is for unstable people to access guns — the more likely they are to use them.

Guns deter criminals! The solution to gun violence isn’t fewer guns, but more!

Is that why the states that lead the country in per capita gun violence are mostly pro-gun states run by Republicans? There’s practically no credible statistics out there that support the absurd claim by Republicans, the NRA, and gun fanatics that more guns lead to less gun violence.

But I’m done “taking the high road,” so to speak. Up until now I always subscribed to the belief that we shouldn’t rush to talk about guns and regulations so soon after one of these tragic shootings — but not anymore. Not when they keep happening, while absolutely nothing gets done about them.

Every time one of these horrific shootings happens, gun fanatics claim it’s not the time to talk about guns.

Time passes, no debate, nothing gets done.

Another mass shooting occurs.

Once again, gun fanatics say it’s not the time to talk about guns.

More time passes, no debate, nothing gets done.

Another mass shooting occurs.

Again, gun fanatics say it’s not the time to talk about guns.

Notice a pattern?

MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski said that no Republican lawmaker would appear on their show to discuss the Vegas shooting. When your stance on an issue is indefensible, the last thing you’d want to be forced to do is try to defend it.

Republicans don’t want to talk about guns now because everyone’s attention is on this massacre. What they want to do is buy themselves time and avoid the subject, while hoping everyone’s attention eventually moves on to something else.

The time to talk about guns is now, not later. We know “later” is really never. Republicans know that if they can just keep “kicking that can down the road,” most of the country’s attention moves on to other stories, so there won’t be any pressing need to have a debate about guns or gun violence.

Well, that is until the next mass shooting occurs.

Then just like we’ve seen time after time, most Americans will realize something needs to be done about gun violence in this country, Republicans, the NRA, and gun fanatics will do their best to avoid defending their propaganda, and we’ll bury more innocent people because gun-obsessed cowards continue to hide behind the emotional veil of “it’s not the time to talk about guns or gun violence.”

No, not anymore — not this time.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Facebook to let me know what you think.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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