December 18, 2012 |
Of course, like the rest of the nation and world, Ryan and Mike were disturbed, saddened and angered by this week’s murder of 20 first graders and seven adults, and even the suicide of the shooter. We’re in the this-is-exactly-the-time-to-talk-solutions camp.
We don’t see gun laws and regs as THE solution, but certainly as a necessary set of steps. Mike stressed the deep, long needs to consciously shift our violence and gun culture, as we are doing with racism and xenophobia. He looks to a very possible nation where fists, knives and guns are not the resort for tough times and thoughts. In that vein, Ryan also discussed his personal experiences and the need for mental health work — from more facilities to regular checkups and more.
We want quick, strong action, even if the President is low on the leadership lever. We differed on the power of the NRA and other gun lobbyists. Mike leans that they are toothless, but Ryan discusses their power in Republican primaries, that is, picking the candidates who will run for office.
We spoke to how mass murders here have become common. Moreover, there are roughly 30 gun deaths a day, most of them young black and Latino men. We dealt with the gun absolutists and their illogical arguments for not banning assault weapons and mega-magazines again. This is the time to stop that silliness and stop pretending that banning weapons whose only use is mass murder.