newschris graham we need to change the nature of the debate on guns

Chris Graham: We need to change the nature of the debate on guns

(© Brad –

The people who don’t want to do anything about Americans own more than 400 million guns and are increasingly likely to use them to kill each other and little kids will tell you, well, let’s maybe do something about mental health, that’s where the problem lies.

As if the reason people are killing each other with guns is a function of lack of resources for mental health.

Certainly, we as a society don’t address mental health with any degree of seriousness, same as we don’t address medical health with any degree of seriousness.

And the reason, actually on mental health, medical health and our issue with the guns is the people who don’t want to do anything about all the guns.

They don’t actually support committing more resources to mental health, and just use mental health as a convenient excuse.

Mental health doesn’t drive people to buy assault rifles and ammo to shoot up a supermarket in a black neighborhood.

Mental health isn’t why people shoot kids in an elementary school.

It’s not why people spray bullets into a crowd outside a basketball arena.

Sometimes people are just assholes, and these assholes have guns, and the guns work the way they’re supposed to work.

Assault rifles, in particular, are effective at spreading massive amounts of ammunition in quick bursts, and because the people who don’t want to do anything about our gun problem have bought and paid for enough lawmakers in our 50 states and at the federal level to protect policy inaction, these weapons designed for the military battlefield show up in grocery stores and elementary schools in the hands of assholes who can purchase them legally.

Those of us who want to do something about our gun problem can’t even get the other people to agree to simple things like background checks that, yeah, sure, would do nothing to stop these implements of war from getting into the hands of the assholes who want to shoot innocent people with them.

Which is to say, we can’t even get the people who don’t want us to do anything about our gun problem to agree to something symbolic that we all agree would do absolutely nothing to keep guns out of the hands of the assholes who want to shoot innocent people and little kids with them.

All they’ll do is mumble something about mental health, and then thoughts and prayers, as if thinking about innocent people and little kids used as fodder for target practice for assholes who don’t value human life and praying for them and their loved ones who will forever have to mourn their loss does anybody any good.

Seriously, enough with the thoughts and prayers. It’s obvious that people who value an inanimate object more than a little kid, a person shopping for groceries, fans watching a basketball game, don’t really mean it, so we can all stop pretending that it means anything.

These people are so afraid that they’re coming for our guns that they hold the rest of us hostage, prevent us from being able to take even baby steps to making America safe.

We’re way past baby steps.

It might be time to just out and say it.

Maybe we just need to come for their guns.

It shouldn’t have to come to that, but what we’re doing now clearly isn’t getting us anywhere.

Start with, do something, or this is where things are headed, and the needle might start to move in the right direction.

If it doesn’t, we’re already at war with ourselves.

Story by Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris has won 17 Virginia Press Association awards for his work as an investigative reporter, feature writer and columnist. Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, Want to reach Chris? Try [email protected].