In her column, “America is exceptionally dumb when it comes to guns,” which appeared in the local Gannett papers Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Cynthia Tucker discusses an aspect of American Exceptionalism that she says is irrationally exceptional–gun worship. Tucker makes these points:
- No other nation has set guns aside as an object of worship.
- We have let a blood-soaked gun lobby dictate our laws and regulations.
- We have passed “stand your ground laws that allow violent and angry men to murder unarmed people
- We have given the mentally unstable the right to buy military-style assault weapons
Tucker then notes Georgia’s “guns everywhere” law which allows citizens to carry guns into government buildings, bars, and churches. She goes on to discuss resistance to President Obama’s initiative for CDC to study gun violence which means, she says, some questions that desperately need answers won’t get the inquiry they deserve:
- Do background checks deter gun violence?
- How many mass shooters have a detectable mental illness?
- What is the link between suicide and gun ownership?
Then she notes that not even the possible link between violent video games and mass shootings would be studied.
In a statement to ProPublica, Jack Kingston (R-GA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, said he would oppose a proposal from President Obama for $10 million in CDC gun research funding. Kingston is facing a Tea Party challenge. “The President’s request to fund propaganda for his gun-grabbing initiatives though the CDC will not be included in the FY2015 appropriations bill,” Kingston said. Perhaps the Senate will restore the needed funding.
Finally Tucker concludes:
That’s just nuts, a reminder of our willingness to be exceptionally dumb about some things.
© William Hungerford – April 2014