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Want To End Gun Violence? Be Responsible.


So now The (failing) New York Times has become so desperate for readers and clicks that it has a dear Abby column where readers send in questions about whatever little problem they have, and some ‘expert’ responds with the proper advice. You can find this crap in the Social Q’s column in the Style section, and yesterday’s lead question is from a ‘mother’ who is worried about her teen-age daughter and the question starts off like this:

Our 15-year-old daughter is very headstrong. She’s never been in real trouble, but she bristles against rules and authority: curfews, homework, appropriate clothing — you name it! Recently, she exploded when her younger brothers discovered her journal in the family room. Now, she keeps it locked in a heavy black box she found at a secondhand store. The problem: The black box turns out to be a gun safe! she refuses to give up the safe, and we don’t want it in our house. Help!”

The advice to this poor woman comes from Philip Galanes, who used to be an entertainment lawyer for the Paul, Weiss law firm, but now has become the entertainment himself. And here’s what he tells this poor woman to do: “Start by asking if she knew what the gun safe was. (I wouldn’t have!) If none of your children are very young, go deeper: Ask them about gun violence and their sense of safety. Let them take the lead. You and your husband can help them synthesize their thoughts. That’s probably more useful than any top-down declarations by you, and it may be the sort of meaningful give-and-take that your daughter responds to.

How come this distraught woman wasn’t told to keep the safe around the house in case she and/or her husband decide to buy a gun? Aren’t that what responsible parents should be doing now that the CDC has declared gun violence to be a public health threat?

That’s right. Back last August, the head of the CDC, Rachel Walensky, broke a 15-year silence about gun violence and not only proclaimed it to be a serious threat to public health, but also named the CDC’s -ready? – acting principal deputy director (whew), Debra Houry, to take the lead in promoting CDC’s response to this public health threat. Houry believes that gun violence can be effectively controlled through “research, education and targeted prevention.”

If that’s all true, I still don’t understand why the Dear Abby wannabe in The (failing) New York Times didn’t advise the reader (who may not actually exist) to throw out the goddamn safe and oh, by the way, make sure never to bring a gun into the house. Because that’s what the CDC learned the last time they funded gun research which found that access to a gun in the home created a risk to health, the risk being a medical condition called death.

But now that the CDC has decided to revive some evidence-based research that was done twenty-five years ago, we have to look to build a consensus about gun risk, and the consensus is that guns aren’t so risky as long as they are used in a ‘responsible’ and ‘safe’ way.

That’s become the approach to gun violence promoted by the CDC over the past year, and obviously the reason for those mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Highland Park (among other places) is because the shooters in all three of those events didn’t behave in a ‘safe’ or ‘responsible’ way.

Not to worry. If there’s no big deal shooting, the whole issue will disappear and Philip Galanes will have to come up with some other problem that will align with inflation, or college loans or whatever the Fake News decides needs to be talked about this coming week.

As for me, I think I’ll take a ride down to the guy who sells guns, ammo, archery equipment and fishing bait in my town. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even buy a gun. I have room in my gun safe for another AR-15 or maybe a new Glock.

And if I do buy a gun, I’ll have no trouble passing a background check because, after all, I’m a safe and responsible guy.


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