Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions in our national gun control debate. The issue is not whether we should have gun control laws in this country -- or what they should be.
Cultural historian and scholar Richard Slotkin has spent his adult life studying the violence that has swirled through American history and taken root deep in our culture.
A year after Sandy Hook, I still believe that the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby. I still believe that you and I people of faith should refuse to tolerate the epidemic of gun violence that is killing our children, our colleagues, our friends.
Whether a shocking massacre, or solitary assault with a rifle, the prevalence of gun violence in this nation is the best evidence we have of the genuine moral paralysis of government.
The families of Newtown victims have done a lot to push for gun control and their work will surely continue to make a difference both in terms of public awareness and also legislation, but the burden of restoring sanity to a nation gone gun crazy should not fall to them alone.
Much will be said in the coming days about how successful advocates have been in achieving their goals since 12/14. And make no mistake: Given the opposition we face, we cannot expect to win overnight. The NRA, a trade association for the gun industry masquerading as a shooting sports foundation, has worked for decades to block any policy that could negatively affect the industry's bottom line. They've taken tens of millions of dollars in donations from gun companies that care more about increased profits than protecting public safety. But over the long term, it's important to know that the NRA represents an industry on the decline. Newtown and other recent mass shootings have greatly increased public awareness of gun violence, helping spur a growing grassroots movement in favor of action that shows no sign of slowing down.
The American public must remember, not only the horror of the massacre a year ago, but the no-votes from corrupt senators who flagrantly betrayed their constituents.
The NRA is trying to have it both ways: they say that the mental health system needs to be "fixed" -- but they don't want doctors to be able to close a gap in mental health treatment simply through asking appropriate questions and using common sense.
This week we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as we prepare to mark the one-year anniversary of the massacre of school children in Sandy Hook.
If black men are more likely to be murdered by a gun and the paragon of safety from gun violence is more guns, then the obvious solution to solve the problem of black-on-black crime is to make sure that all black men own guns and are trained to use them properly.
Lee Harvey Oswald buys his rifle through the NRA's American Rifleman magazine. Fifty years later, the magazine marks the anniversary by offering a "Historic NRA Exclusive Offer" hawking silver JFK half dollars issued after his assassination.
It is naïve to think we can talk about the forces shaping the socialization of boys and men (and girls and women) and not include a thoughtful discussion about the role of mega-popular video games like C.O.D.
Many people put a great amount of energy into their hobbies, people with deep resentments about things they cannot change displace their hostility into the channel they can find, and companies with a financial interest pour resources into the advancement whatever they profit from.
America's love affair with guns has now reached a zenith (or a nadir, depending on how you look at it), wherein no amount of carnage seems to be able to change our basic fondness for owning guns.
Nobody denies that guns are dangerous; nobody denies that when a gun gets into the wrong hands, a serious accident may take place. But the NRA wants you to believe that physicians are the enemy when it comes to talking about guns.
Yes, we certainly need more regulations and oversight over who can buy a gun, what guns are acceptable for public ownership, and when and where they can be carried.