On that day I wrote a post about the failure of our society to perform its most basic function of creating a safe environment for the reproduction of the species. I was pretty pissed off. The threat of insane people with guns is not all that big a threat, statistically, but we have failed to deal with other risks that are not as splashy but are certain to cause greater and more universal harm to future generations, such as climate change.
Well, since then, the US political process has failed even more dismally than I would have predicted. I really did think that an incident of this magnitude might actually penetrate the thick miasma of dysfunction that chokes our politics. Whatever else you might say about Americans, we are good at making a fuss over dead children. But no – in fact, it is now easier than ever for the violently insane to obtain the tools they need to realize their fantasies:
Of more than 1,000 gun-related bills introduced in the states since Sandy Hook, thirty-nine laws were passed, the majority of them in California, that make it more difficult to obtain a gun or certain kinds of magazines, while 73 laws were passed that make it easier to obtain or wield a gun, mostly in already gun-friendly states, according to a New York Times review.So, I was wrong, twenty dead elementary-school children barely register in our political discourse; they are nothing compared to the 10:1 spending advantage the NRA has over gun control advocates. Could there be a clearer signal that our ability as a society to regulate ourselves has basically been eliminated?And if we can't act on such dramatic events, the chances for doing something about the larger risks we face are basically nil.