By Dennis Hartley
‘Wait’ has always meant ‘never’ – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Now is not the time to talk about [insert gun-violence related meme here] .” We’ve heard that before; predictably, we’re hearing it again.
But there is something about this mass shooting that screams “Last call for sane discourse and positive action!” on multiple fronts. This incident is akin to a perfect Hollywood pitch, writ large by fate and circumstance; incorporating nearly every sociopolitical causality that has been quantified and/or debated over by criminologists, psychologists, legal analysts, legislators, anti-gun activists, pro-gun activists, left-wingers, right-wingers, centrists, clerics, journalists and pundits in the wake of every such incident since Charles Whitman perched atop the clock tower at the University of Texas and picked off nearly 50 victims (14 dead and 32 wounded) over a 90-minute period. That incident occurred in 1966; 50 years ago this August. Not an auspicious golden anniversary for our country. 50 years of this madness. And it’s still not the appropriate time to discuss? What…too soon?
Everything old is new again: The cover of Time, Aug. 12, 1966
The Orlando incident contains nearly every hot-button trigger. The gunman: spousal abuser, obsessed with firearms, mental issues, of the Muslim faith. The weapon: a legally purchased assault rifle. The target: a nightclub popular with the LGBTQ community. The motivation: too early to say definitively, but history points to a likelihood of either personal, political, ideological, or perhaps ‘all of the above’. The initial rush to judgement per social media and the MSM: that this was a terror attack on America, pure and simple, end of story.All I can say is, if this “worst mass shooting in U.S. history” (which is saying a lot) isn’t the perfect catalyst for prompting meaningful public dialogue and positive action steps once and for all regarding homophobia, Islamophobia, domestic violence, the proliferation of hate crimes, legal assault weapons, universal background checks, mental health care (did I leave anything out?), then WTF will it take?