As I write this, we are between mass shootings in the United States. I don’t mean mass shootings in the way that statisticians use the term — referring to four or more people injured or killed (besides the shooter) — because there has been literally no breathing room between gun incidents of that variety this year. I’m talking about mass shootings in the “demand widespread public attention” definition of the term. Shootings with simple, chilling designations: Kip Kinkel, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Pulse Nightclub, Vegas, San Bernadino, Isla Vista, Parkland. (These are out of order and off the top of my head.)
The fact that we are between mass shootings by its nature implies that public outcry for a remedy to gun violence is at a low. Though Parkland’s students have done a valiant job pushing their agenda forward and keeping people focused, this is the cycle we’re in. People fighting for social justice on a variety of fronts are always going to struggle going up against a singularly-focused organization like the NRA. Gun zealots use the calm between shootings to pass small-scale gun bills (like the silencer bill in Arizona); those fighting for gun control would be wise to do the same. Part of that means deepening their knowledge of the issues they’re up against.
You remember the end of 8 Mile when Eminem’s B-Rabbit predicts what everyone is gonna say to beat him? It’s a hell of an argument tactic and one well worth paying attention to if you’re fighting for reasonable gun control. To win the battle, you have to be ready to parry the other side’s attacks. You even have to be able to see some degree of logic to their thinking. Sure, you can act totally baffled that they believe what they believe and mock them to your private echo chamber, but… how’s that been working out over the past two decades?
If you really want gun control — and plan to be vocal about it — you need to understand these pro-gun arguments.