Gun Control Debate: Political Theater Following Sandy Hook Has Only Resulted In Increased Gun Sales

Despite optimistic trumpet-horns for Michael Bloomberg’s newly financed anti-NRA efforts, the end result still remains a meaningless status-quo.

Much in the same way that the Brady law introduced background checks in the '90s only to be circumvented by a gun-show loophole, we are seeing the ebb and flow of fake political fury and the public’s fatigue from experiencing trauma. Every time a senseless slaying occurs with automatic gunfire, this country is momentarily united in repulsion and terror. We then instantly turn on each other.

The left accuses anyone of owning a gun to be in support of a murderer’s ability to amass unimaginable body counts. The right, meanwhile, focuses on traditional gun-owning communities across the country.

Right-wing media depicts the looming danger of opportunistic pro-gun control politicians, who are portrayed as seeking to climb to power through the seizure of guns — leading to predictably sky-rocketing weapons sales. Press on the opposing side depicts an endless parade of lunatic weapons enthusiasts and defiant state laws, so that their viewers are roused into a movement of their own.


Within days, Politicians foaming at the mouth with newly printed poll results rally their voter blocks, promising to defend or destroy the culture of gun ownership – depending on the shade of their state’s party color. Interviews, protests, renegades, conspiracy nuts, and several speeches later, the head-butting politicians finally present a compromised vision. A sense of peace and potential unity appears before us once again. All is calm as we hope for a better tomorrow.

Then it fails. The sun rises on another generic day of mediocrity and political predictability. Yet, we find ourselves so relieved to have seen the end of conflict, that we can’t seem to muster up the same indignation. We’re so happy to be removed from the trauma we collectively suffered through our televisions, that we yearn for a break from its cold grasp. We appreciate the joys of our lives.

At least until a month from now, when a new grotesquery of human violence twists our necks to the TV screen once more.    

It’s like we periodically discover a need to indulge in our insatiable desire for conflict, so we beat the drums and shout from our bellies — before returning to iPhones and Facebook. Dogs display a similar behavior when they bark at each other in the night before nuzzling their noses in the comforting aroma of their own anus.

To those who believe Sandy Hook was this country’s limit on tolerating violence, murder, depravity or terror — the unfortunate news is, we have years of uphill battles and bloodbaths ahead of us before a meaningfully improved world is built. That is the unfortunate pace of progress. We know the actual causes of gun deaths, and a few politicians keep championing sensible policies. But those voices are drowned out in the chaos of megaphoned conflict. 

If the slaughter of 20 infants doesn’t rally us enough to cross a meaningful finish line, I dread to think what it will take.

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Roy Klabin

Graduate student at Columbia University School of Journalism. I cover crime & corruption, social injustice and cartoon politics.

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