Mass Shootings

Now Is Not the Time to Talk About What We Are Not Talking About

 Despite scenes like this, now is not the time to talk about gun control. Thank you for your cooperation.

Despite scenes like this, now is not the time to talk about gun control. Thank you for your cooperation.

In the aftermath of another horrific mass shooting, I have finally been convinced: Now is not the time to talk about gun control.

Likewise, now is not the time to talk about terrorism in New York, arrests in Saudi Arabia, Larry David’s holocaust joke, or yesterday’s NFL’s upsets. Just as many Democrats favor a three-day waiting period to purchase a gun, I favor a three-day waiting period to talk about anything in the news. Since there are mass shootings every day, this has many benefits. For example, not only do we never have to talk about gun control, we never have to talk about not talking about gun control. What a relief! (I hate that conversation.)

The problem with talking about something after it just happened is that in our eagerness to talk about the just-happened-thing, we discuss it. If there’s one thing that we can all agree on, it’s that we don’t need any more discussion, especially in the aftermath of something that has happened.

Do you discuss a meal after you’ve eaten it? Of course not. You give yourself time to thoroughly digest and eliminate it. And even then, you wait for the stench of defecation to clear before starting a possibly contentious debate about your subpar avocado toast appetizer. It is like that with mass shootings and gun control, except that the stench never clears. Consequently, we adapt to the toxically foul odor so effectively, we become completely unaware of it until our next bout of collective diarrhea. And even then, who wants to talk about or hear about diarrhea? I don’t know about you, but when a diarrhea commercial comes on, I immediately turn it off and don’t talk about it.

My point is that we can’t allow ourselves to go off half-cocked talking about things that just happened, not without politicizing them and thereby making things worse than if we hadn’t talked about them. Honestly, I fear that I am making things worse, much worse, by talking about not talking about them. So, in the interests of fostering a meaningful national dialogue, I would like to shift the conversation to not talking about not talking about not talking about things. You’re welcome.

Experts agree, the main issue is mental health. If only we were mentally healthy, that would make a world of difference, believe me. I would say more about this, but sorry, now is not the time to talk about mental health.

The question we must ask ourselves is: What is this the time to talk about? To properly answer this pressing question, I would have to check the news from three days ago in order to identify the stories reported that are not relevant today. Those irrelevant stories are without question ripe for exhaustive analysis and spirited debate. But sadly, in our rush to judgment, we prefer to focus on relevant things that just happened.

In closing, I would like to say nothing at all.

An Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly About His Dystopian Take on the Las Vegas Shooting

 LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS

LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS

Dear Bill,

I have no interest in living in your nightmarish version of our country, where 59 dead and over 500 injured in a horrific mass shooting is “the big downside of American freedom.”

First, it is most decidedly not “a big downside.” It is an unacceptable and tragic horror that any civilized nation would take swift and reasonable action to prevent from ever happening again.

Second, it has nothing to do with “American freedom,” unless your repugnant idea of freedom includes protecting the right of individuals to amass military-grade arsenals.

You refer to the killer as “a psychotic” and note that he had “a number of deadly weapons in his room.” The actual number is 23, with 19 more at his home. They are all perfectly legal in Nevada, a state where a psychotic doesn’t need a license to own a shotgun, but doesn’t dare deal five-card stud without one.

Bill, your certitude is exceeded only by your stupefying shallowness. You say that “government restrictions will not stop psychopaths from harming people.” Agreed, so why then have laws prohibiting murder or rape? Or — and here’s a novel idea — why not let each state decide whether it wants ineffective anti-murder and anti-rape laws to remain on its books?

What’s truly sickening about your analysis, Bill, is your ignorant smugness: “The NRA and its supporters want easy access to weapons, while the left wants them banned.” You have the first part of that right, even the NRA would agree. But the left doesn’t want weapons “banned.” The overwhelming majority of liberals understand that guns are here to stay. In fact, many of us (not me!) own guns, enjoy them and even misuse them, causing tragedy in our own families. What liberals want is sensible regulation, along the lines of how the government regulates any dangerous merchandise or activity, like cigarettes or flying an airplane.

Apparently, Bill, this is too complex a concept for you to understand. Your mind is so horribly twisted you conclude, “This is the price of freedom. Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are.”

No, Bill. You’re confusing freedom with fear and death. You think you’re a tough law-and-order guy, but you’re actually a defender of anarchy. You wrongly say that “the Second Amendment is clear,” when any student of American history can tell you that the Second Amendment is well known for its utter lack of clarity.

In fact, the “right” of individuals to bear arms that you — and the Supreme Court, in its 5-4 “Heller” decision of 2008 — claim the Second Amendment establishes is tenuous and limited. But you make no mention of that. “Even the loons” have this right, according to you, the right to own enough firepower to mow down hundreds of concertgoers from the 32nd floor of a hotel. How’s that for American exceptionalism?

Bill, it’s clear to anyone paying attention that you are an enabler of the violence that you rail against, yet are willing to accept as part of the American deal. You are more concerned with protecting Stephen Paddock’s rights than you are Colin Kaepernick’s. You are more concerned with the “war on Christmas” than the actual war on your fellow citizens. Simply put, you are part of the problem.

Think about it.

Joe Raiola