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Damn him! Just when David Brooks seems to be defending a position on gun control that blames liberals for not being warm and fuzzy with gun extremists, he turns around and reconsiders his position. This is unacceptable! How can we establish a clear line in the sand when he says, “Maybe I’m wrong.” THE NERVE of that man!

David Brooks on Gun Control:  Let Red Be Red 

David Brooks has at least twice indicated that gun users should have a significant role in determining the parameters of gun ownership. Most recently he suggested that liberals should let the gun owners lead the discussion.

So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough to just vent and march. You have to let Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at every point. 

David Brooks – 19 February

His position was to let gun extremists continue to do what they’ve been doing and maybe…maybe, someday they will let common sense return. For me, that position is a nonstarter. I know these gun extremists. They are from small towns like where I grew up. For at least 40 years they’ve been on a steady diet of “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” (I saw that bumper sticker on a truck in the 1970’s.)

Gun extremists have not been rational for decades. The constant statements that “they’re coming to git your guns” is oxygen to gun extremists. These are not gun owners, they are gun cultists. They have no business being part of a discussion about guns, let alone lead it.

He Said What??

But last Thursday David Brooks took a different perspective on the issue. He said:

Continued school shootings could be just the thing that persuades the mainstream that conservatism is vulgar and socially illegitimate, somewhere between smoking and segregationism.

David Brooks – 1 March

This is an understatement. Slaughtering seven-year-old children with an assault rifle should never be compared to smoking or segregationism.

However, his realization is something that our country hasn’t heard from conservatives in a long time. It is not likely to be shared by many gun extremists, but if it were, we would have the assault weapon ban reinstated in a matter of days.

The rest of the country is watching the trainwreck of conservatism. The lead engineers of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnel, and Paul Ryan are putting more power to the engine even as it falls off the trestle. The Trumpsters onboard are laughing and whooping with joy.

Conservatives have used a desperate tactic of building a coalition with racists, religious extremists, gun extremists, and corrupt people of wealth. An idea is growing among people of common sense. The question is not just asking how do we stop the madness. The question is how do make sure it never happens again. The answer to that question should have Trumpsters soiling their underwear. There is a cost to arrogance, and arrogance is only temporary.

My Diagnosis of David Brooks

I believe I know why David Brooks is able to consider different points of view on issues as divisive as gun control. First, he was born in Canada. (I’ll take a moment while most of you slap your forehead and say, “Of course!”)

Second, I believe that David Brooks has used,…please, hear me out,…I believe he has used LSD at some point in his life. Recently I read about a study where subjects were tested after they were given LSD and the results indicated that they were more open-minded.

So, my theory is that the combination of being born in Canada and taking LSD at some point can cause a conservative to consider issues from multiple viewpoints. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that our country has many conservative Canadians who have taken LSD.

Nobody said this would be easy.

(NOTE:  David Brooks comments are published in the New York Times. Because this source uses a paywall to prevent sharing I have not linked to his full article per normal.)