After all, if they engaged in a “conversation” about that, they might have to acknowledge that their insistence that an assault weapons ban will end mass killings is a fantasy. They might have to acknowledge that their endgame is to ban shotguns and other guns as well.
If they wanted a conversation, they might be more willing to discuss the fact that those magical “background checks” are not a foolproof solution either. It turns out that Alexis had passed two background checks. He had shown clear evidence of mental illness, but never lost his security clearances.
If they really wanted a conversation, they would be willing to discuss whether the pronounced increase in mass shootings since 1970 might have anything to do with the deinstitutionalization of the severely mentally ill starting that year.
Yes, many of those institutions were awful — simply warehousing badly damaged people. But taking guns away from law-abiding citizens doesn’t address the problem. Better institutions would.
If they really wanted a conversation, they would be willing to discuss the influence on mentally unbalanced people of rampant violence in Hollywood movies and video games.
But the only conversation they want is the one-way version. They want the other side to shut up, roll over and let them pretend they are protecting “the children.”
Thankfully, so far the guilt trip is not working. And it won’t, as long as we realize that “conversation” is nothing but a code word for: “Do as I say.”
Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org