Recently I spoke on background to a couple of producers working on a news special on gun violence-related trauma. Speaking “on background” means that I would not be quoted but the producers are trying to get a better understanding of their subject matter as they proceed to put the special together.
I am usually happy to do this in order to try to have a point of view represented in the final product that might otherwise not be. For me, as someone who specializes not in gun violence but in gun culture, the POV is that of the normalcy of guns and gun owners.
In the course of our discussion, one of the producers asked me, “How do gun owners respond to mass shootings” like Uvalde?
My response (paraphrasing here):
Like any normal human being does. They feel grief, rage, disbelief, compassion, and other normal human emotions.
Many might want to offer their thoughts and/or prayers for the individuals, families, and communities affected, but “thoughts and prayers” have now been weaponized by activists who insist that the only appropriate response to mass shootings is gun control right now. Which, of course, has been politicized as “common sense.”
It was a very interesting question to ask, but an important one, and I was glad that I had the opportunity to answer it as the producer seemed as if he had genuinely never thought of my answer.