I happened to catch a portion of the Colorado theatre shooting news coverage Friday evening. After CNN’s Piers Morgan allowed the coward who left his girlfriend and two young children in the theatre to ramble about his experience without mention of the young man who helped lead the ‘left behind’ to safety , he hosted a panel of three to discuss gun laws in the United States. Piers opened the discussion by asking Denver University law professor David Kopel to share his reaction to the statement, “It is time now for gun control to be strengthened.”
“Honestly, Piers, I think this is the wrong night to be doing this, and I really wish you’d waited to have this segment till after the funerals…,” responded Kopel.
Wait? Wait?!? **baffled face**
Hearing that one word in this context conjured angst while reminding me of the criticisms Dr. King unjustly received for not ‘waiting for a better time’ to fight segregation. Such criticisms were never hoisted from those who were weighed down by the oppressive laws of segregation, but by those whose lives weren’t restricted by Jim Crow. I’m always critical of those who proclaim that the time is not now when they aren’t the ones directly affected. Would wait still be the tactic for proceeding if a tangible villain intent on harming as many as possible disrupted their movie viewing? Would the suggested patience reign if one of their loved ones was a victim of gun violence? Would a willingness to wait exist if far too often they were instructed to use unequal facilities denoted by an overhead colored sign?
I concur that media coverage during tragedies like the Colorado theatre shooting makes the accused infamous with minimal attention given to the victims. However, to wait to renew the conversation on access to guns and ammunition is absurd and nonsensical. As Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign exclaimed, “The time for this conversation was yesterday.”