By Victor Balta / current.com / @VictorBalta
Why? How did this happen?
Those are the first words anyone asks when confronted with a tragedy such as the shooting at a late-night screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo., that left 12 people dead and at least 50 others wounded.
And when the perpetrator's weapon of choice is a gun, one obvious conclusion is: What if he didn't have that gun?
Current.com asked that simple, basic, moral question this morning, and although there have been several articulate responses — including from those who oppose gun control — reactionary gun advocates have been quick to jump on accusations that we have politicized the issue.
Treviño, who lists vice president of communications at the Texas Public Policy Foundation as his position in his Twitter bio, would do well to learn the difference between policy and politics. There is one.
The question of whether such a tragedy will reopen the gun-control debate ought to be assumed, and it's certainly not political. Gun advocates like Treviño make it political by jumping to the defense of guns in response to such a tragedy and vilifying anyone discussing gun control.
Another user's partially profane tweet accused us of not even waiting "until the bodies are cold before turning it into a political issue."
The fact is that it's never too soon.
Today's tragedy is not an opportunity for gun-control advocates. There's no joy in witnessing yet another dozen innocent victims lose their lives as a result of gun violence. No one is sitting around hoping more people will be killed so that the case can be made to take your guns away.
The question isn't coming up too soon, it's coming up too late — again.
It's coming too late to save the two students who were killed in February at Chardon High School in Ohio.
It's coming too late for the six who died in January 2011 at Rep. Gabby Giffords' constituent meeting at a Safeway shopping center near Tucson, Ariz.
It's coming too late for the 32 people killed by a gunman at Virginia Tech University in 2007.
It's coming too late for the five schoolgirls killed in rural Pennsylvania in 2006.
The long, sad list unfortunately goes on.
It's coming far too late for the 12 students and a teacher who were killed at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in 1999 — less than 20 miles from last night's shooting in Aurora.
This isn't political. There is no personal or political gain for anyone advocating gun control. It's about human lives.
There is no celebration over the fact that this is another chance to talk about gun control. It's just another unfortunate reminder that the conversation is coming too late and likely still won't come as a result of this terrifying event in Aurora, Colo.
It's just another chance to ask everyone to put down their guns, put down their talking points and put down their guards — and have a civilized debate about what really matters.
(Photo: Getty Images)
- news blog