In the immediate aftermath of mass shootings, conservative media and the National Rifle Association quickly state, This is not the time to talk about gun violence. We need to focus on the victims. The NRA also issues a press release reaffirming its stance that guns are not the cause of the shootings.
Within days, the media attention turns to the shooter and what led him to become a mass killer. Then the public attention is distracted by other more important stories such as the latest celebrity divorce, the latest celebrity arrest or the latest sensational trial.
The debate about senseless gun violence gets lost in the process until the next mass shooting. Then the process is repeated all over again.
With each shooting, the national outrage is diminished, especially if the victims are not white innocents. (Notice the difference in media coverage in the aftermath of the shootings in Wisconsin compared to the shootings in Colorado, Tucson, Fort Hood, and West Virginia.)
Racism aside, when will we ever have a national conversation about hate speech? About hate radio? About the violence that pervades virtually every aspect of our culture? And most importantly, about the easy availability of increasingly lethal military-style weapons?
There will never be a better time than NOW!