St. Peters, MO—
The endless series of mass shootings has shaken the nation, and one local independent voter sat down with The Halfway Post to discuss his thoughts.
Mark Harmell voted for Barack Obama in two elections, but voted for Donald Trump because he thought, even though Mr. Trump was a bit of a clown, Trump would try something new in government.
However, Harmell has been disappointed and confused by America’s contemporary hyper-partisanship. The issue that most disorients Harmell is America’s chronic gun violence problem, and he says the issue is just too complex to know what solution he should support.
“It’s just all so much to consider,” explained Mr. Harmell. “There’s the issue of the Second Amendment being enshrined as an American right, but, then again, an amendment is already a revision of the Constitution in a sense, so why should there be such a big fuss about amending an amendment to include some sensible ground rules? But it really throws me off my balance when both political parties can’t agree on a compromise. It’s a real conundrum. On the one hand you have the Democrats, who have been proposing for decades rational regulations that would significantly improve the safety of the American public while dramatically cutting down America’s alarming, global outlier statistics of gun violence every year, but on the other hand you have the Republicans who propose we change absolutely nothing at all no matter how many school children are martyred for the unfettered right to have weapons designed principally for killing mass numbers of humans in war settings. How can you decide between such diametrically opposed positions?”
Harmell paused a moment.
“I just wish we could take a cooling-off period after each mass shooting, you know? But the Democrats and Republicans just jump right back at each other’s throats, with Democrats accusing Republicans of having blood on their hands because of their irresponsible inaction paid for by blatant NRA campaign bribery and attack-ad extortion, and Republicans shrugging and admitting they can’t stay in office without earning an A from the NRA every election. It’s like 50-50 in terms of who is to blame for the problem! Should I flip a coin? It’s just too complicated to make a decision between the detailed, study-analyzed strategies the Democrats offer that would adopt many of the effective policies other countries employ, and the complete legislative lethargy Republicans offer. This is why we need a long break after every mass shooting to reflect and figure things out before we politicize the carnage. When dozens of people are murdered, the last thing we need to do is rush to conclusions on whether or not we could have prevented it entirely. In fact, I’d reckon we as a nation should take a full 30-day political break after every mass shooting in order for folks to fully form an opinion and properly determine a societal response. The only problem is that America never even comes close to going a whole month without a mass shooting. Ah, man, I just don’t know. My gut tells me Republicans are right, and that we should just accept mass shootings and general public fear every time we go out into a public space as an unfortunate but acceptable consequence of America’s unadaptable commitment to both its 18th Century freedom to have a musket and its 19th Century, exclusively Antebellum slave rebellion-squashing legal precedents on gun control, but my brain tells me that’s stupid and I should have voted for Hillary Clinton. I guess we’ll never know how to lower our gun violence statistics to the rates seen in the rest of the industrialized world.”
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