Thoughts, Prayers and Bullet Proof Backpacks – The NRA’s Guide to Addressing Gun Violence

Any good capitalist will tell you to never let a tragedy go to waste. I don’t think that it was an accident, within days of the shooting last week in Buffalo, that I started seeing ads on YouTube for bullet proof backpacks. I’m sure I’ll see even more, now.

I wish I were joking, or at the very least, being a mite sarcastic.

Thoughts and Prayers are already making the rounds so soon after today’s school shooting. I don’t think it took an hour before our politicians and various demagogues started offering their heavenly silver up for emotional and political absolution. It won’t be long before the ads and talking points begin to make their rounds, before the common NRA refrain of “More guns, not less!” will be brought out for policy makers to do with what they will. In a nation in which there are roughly 1.15 guns for every adult and child, you would think we would be well armed enough to ensure that we’re all, “Good guys with guns.”

Apparently not enough, though.

I was speaking with some friends last week and an old family friend popped in to comment that we should be focusing on getting these people help, meaning the potential gun using murderers, rather than going after firearms. After all, people kill people, not guns.

And that’s true. People do kill people. But, as any student of history will tell you, modern firearms make even the most inept person a great deal more successful at it.

Which isn’t the point at all. My family friend doesn’t really care about potentially mentally ill marauders, he was just parroting a very common and successful fallacy used to derail any critical discussion about guns. Don’t blame the tool, blame the user. Whatever you do, don’t discuss the tool, at any cost.

But, if you have to, please make sure you mention these very practical and stylish backpacks.


I think it’s time we started having honest conversations about the tool.

By Dan Granot

I chose the Shorter Whitman because of his work, "Song of Myself" and because of my self-deprecating sense of humor. I am under no illusion that I can write successful essays or poetry, but I have been known to write them anyway.

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