“Agenda denial” is how people in power avoid an argument they think they will lose. Instead of making an argument for their position, they argue that it is “not the right time” to have the argument at all.
The Iraq war was a prime example of agenda denial.
Everyone with sense knew that the invasion had been a blunder before the first year of the occupation was over. They knew they couldn’t win a real argument, on the merits, for continuing the occupation, so they attacked anyone suggesting withdrawal as a communist hippie hater of America. Then when that line of attack started to fail in the wake of Abu Ghraib, the new agenda denial tactic became a repeated demand to give the occupation another six months, and so on.
The gun lobby has also been quite effective at persuading the media that it is somehow indecent or wrong to use a tragedy that was caused by the gun nut culture as an argument to end the gun nut culture.now
Except that it is not political opportunism to use an event, in which the most direct cause was the ability of the perpetrator to get their hands on a gun, to make the argument that perhaps guns should be less readily available.
Now is exactly the time to press for gun control, and the NRA knows it, which is why they are desperate to avoid the argument all together. The gun lobby has never once come back and said ‘now would be a good time to have that discussion we did not want to have in the wake of ‘insert massacre here‘ – and they never will want to have the discussion.
According to the right, it is good and proper for the US government to prohibit gay marriage, but controlling guns would be an unconscionable limit on ‘freedom’. Or take the War on Drugs, it costs over $40 billion a year. Yet drug addicts are more likely to kill themselves than another person, and if they do kill another person it is most likely to be with a gun. If it is right for the government to ban the sale and possession of drugs, then it is right for the government to control guns.
Where I do agree with the gun lobby is that half measures won’t work. Over the past thirty years the gun lobby has resisted every attempt at a balanced approach to gun control. Why bother to moderate our demands when they won’t accept any compromise, and when the status quo, ruled by pro-gun advocates, has obviously failed?
Forget the assault weapons ban, it’s time to ban guns completely
The idea that it is unreasonable to demand a complete ban on guns, while the gun lobby refuses to give an inch, is of course another example of agenda denial. The Governor of Michigan is currently considering a bill, rammed through the lame duck session, that would permit concealed carry of guns in schools and churches. To be heard at all, gun control advocates are required to be “reasonable,” while the gun lobby is busy passing bills to allow concealed carry in schools at the same time our schools are becoming morgues.
Gun control advocates have offered capitulation couched as ‘reasonable demands’ for far too long. If the pro-gun lobby is going to resist any significant restriction on guns, then we should put on the table the very thing they fear most.
Sandy Hook is the sixth gun massacre this year. How frequent do the massacres have to become before we can talk about serious gun control?
Guns are not the only factor in this sudden increase in gun violence, but they are the main factor. Another development is the use of body armor by the shooter in the Aurora massacre, and according to some unconfirmed reports, in the most recent massacre. Concealed carry laws are not going to stop these massacres unless people packing heat are also going to be wearing concealed body armor to go with it. We need to start far more drastic measures if we are going to save our children and ourselves.
It is far past time to call for a total ban on guns. And if it takes a constitutional amendment, so be it.