Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.


The Glock

Now that we’re making progress on the flag issue, let’s turn to the gun: a .45-caliber Glock, probably the Glock 37, which “delivers power-packed performance in a standard framed handgun.” It’s one of 300 million guns in America, the world’s most heavily armed nation. Dylann Roof, who would have been carded for cigarettes or alcohol, had no trouble getting a Glock. But the political outcry against the Confederate battle flag has had no counterpart in guns. Indeed, as an NRA board member pointed out, there weren’t enough guns in that church. "Eight of [Clementa Pinckney’s] church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church,” wrote Charles Cotton, “are dead." That pastor has blood on his hands.

This is the same NRA, Steven Rosenfeld wrote, that, before it got hijacked by fanatical absolutists, not only supported rational gun regulations but actually helped write them. I can’t be sure because unlike Justice Scalia I wasn’t there at the time, but it’s hard to imagine that today’s gun-brandishing vigilantes are the founding fathers’ idea of “a well regulated militia.”

In his absurdly hilarious video, Jim Jefferies, the Australian comic, noted that, after the 1996 massacre at Port Arthur, which left 35 dead and 23 wounded, his government got serious about gun control. Before Port Arthur, there had been a mass killing every year for a decade. There haven't been any since.

But our politicians aren’t afraid of guns; they're scared of the gun lobby. So they’re keeping their heads down.


Romney, Thomas and a Flag