The New York Times used its front page to run an editorial taking on the failure of current gun control laws to keep Americans safe. It’s a situation the Times describes as a “national disgrace” and a “moral outrage.” The Times editorial — in its rare and prominent front page position — asks that Americans hold accountable politicians who routinely “reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing.”
Totaling the fatalities from mass shootings in America in 2015, on average at least one person has died every day this year as a result of an armed madman opening fire. In “End the Gun Epidemic in America” the Times acknowledges the partial truth of the facile adage — the one that gun owners most often employ to defend their position and right to bear arms — that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The notion contends that murderers will find a way whatever the laws. By its opponents, gun control is largely seen as disabling potential victims’ capacity to defend themselves against people determined to do harm. Gun control advocates, conversely, see more restrictive gun ownership policies as an opportunity to disarm potential killers. The Times article features a photo of the White House flying the flag at half-staff. But it’s the Congress, not the Executive branch, that’s waving a flag that’s more significant in this situation. That flag is the white one — for surrender — that legislators in Congress keep waving when faced with the powerful influence of the NRA. That white flag keeps influencing the sad, bowed, maddening position of the stars and stripes.