This morning, as the country digested the terrible events that unfolded in Aurora, Colorado, overnight—where a gunman killed twelve people and wounded 38 others in a packed movie theater—New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg immediately called for a renewed conversation on gun control. “You know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country,” he said. “There are so many murders with guns every day, it’s just got to stop.”
The usual suspects raked Bloomberg over the coals for “politicizing” the shootings, which is nonsense. When there are plane crashes, we talk about flight safety. When there are wildfires, we talk about fire prevention. Terrorist attacks beget huge (often over-reactive) conversations about security measures.
So when one person is able to shoot fifty people in rapid succession before police arrive, it’s sensible to talk about whether it should be so easy. Guns aren’t exclusively to blame for the tragedy, but they sure did help make it possible, and multiply the destruction.