The gun massacre in Parkland, Florida, was nearly six weeks ago. In those weeks, thousands more Americans have died from gun violence. (The average rate is around 90 per day, more than half of them suicides and the rest homicides or accidents.) Today hundreds of thousands of students and others have joined the “March for Our Lives” to demand a solution to what seems America’s most insoluble problem.
As I return to the country (and the online realm) after several weeks away from both, I’d like to resume the discussion that ran in this space in the three weeks after the Parkland killings. Starting with the most recent, the previous entries in the series are:
- “Why Stop With the AR-15?”
- “Regulate Guns, Just Like We Do in the Military”
- “On the Language and Culture of Discussing What to Do About Guns”
- “Tanks vs. AK-47s”
- “A Gun Holdup Victim on Whether He Wishes He Had Been Armed”
- “White Male Privilege”
- “A Case Against Gun Control”
- “The Cultural Roots of a Gun-Massacre Society”
- “A Veteran on the Need to Control Civilian Arms”
- “‘Show Us the Carnage,’ Continued”
- “Only in America”
- “Show Us the Carnage”
- “The Empty Rituals of an American Massacre”
and before that:
- “Why the AR-15 Is So Lethal”
- “The Nature of the AR-15”
- “Why the AR-15 Was Never Meant to be in Civilian Hands”
- “More on the Military and Civilian History of the AR-15”
- “The Certainty of More Shootings,” from back after the Aurora massacre
- “Two Dark American Truths from Las Vegas,” with included video.
Now, a sampling of messages that have come in, responding to arguments in the preceding rounds.
Seriously, why stop with the AR-15? A previous installment was from a reader who said it was unfair to single out the AR-15 for attention, even though it is a weapon originally intended for military use, now present by the millions in civilian households in America, and very commonly used in recent massacres. After all, that reader said, many other kinds of guns can have roughly the same effect. Another reader takes similar reasoning in a different direction: