The gun control debate is essentially over, according to Charles Blow — who said it’s time to examine the harmful pairing of the Republican Party and the NRA.
“In a way, the gun-control debate had been dying all along,” Blow wrote in Thursday’s New York Times.
Blow said the debate died a little bit when Americans accepted having as many guns as people and enduring the gun-related deaths of more than 30,000 people a year, and the debate died further with the rise in gun sales after mass shootings.
“The fact here is that the NRA, the gun lobby and their congressional co-conspirators have, unfortunately, won this round,” Blow wrote. “They have proved that the fear of infringement is thicker than the blood of children.”
But he said the death of that debate opened the door to a new one, aimed at the promotion of fear and paranoia over public health and safety by the gun lobby and their Republican enablers.
“Many people who buy guns are simply racked with an irrational fear, one of several concocted and promoted by the NRA: fear of crime or fear of government,” Blow wrote. “Either way, the logical conclusion of these fears is apocalyptic. Crime is simply not as pervasive as people think; weapons are harder to get and properly use in response to crime than people think, and the government is neither nearing tyranny and totalitarianism (although I sometimes think it would be if this administration had its druthers) nor plotting confiscations.”
He said it’s time to wind down the fear stoked by the NRA and GOP, and examine why they’re so dependent on paranoia.
“Republicans made a blood pact with the NRA, and that has prevented us from making any progress,” Blow wrote. “Individual Americans are going to have to awaken to the reality that our gun hoarding has become a hysteria and we are actually safer as a country with fewer weapons, rather than with more of them.”