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Why the reluctance among conservative opponents of gun control to criticize America’s gun culture, with its vocal enthusiasm for weapons designed specifically to kill people as efficiently as possible? Anyone familiar with John Paul II’s concern for “the sacred value of human life,” or his alarm that “broad sectors of public opinion justify certain crimes against life in the name of the rights of individual freedom,” ought to see a connection.
Where the phrase “culture of death” has come up since the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting, it has been a way of changing the subject—as in an opinion column headed “We Need Abortion Control, Not Gun Control.” (Why not both?) Five days after Newtown, Rush Limbaugh welcomed a caller who scorned liberal proposals to limit gun violence on the grounds that “the left is a culture of death.” Limbaugh agreed, citing “Obamacare’s death panels” (in case you’re wondering whether right-wingers are still trying to make that stick).
But among conservatives actually willing to address proposed restrictions on guns, I find a chilling lack of reference to the human cost of guns in America.
In Books, Valerie Sayers reviews Junot Diaz’s short stories and James J. Sheehan looks at Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain. And Richard Alleva wonders just what Quentin Tarantino had in mind with the film Django Unchained.
See the entire table of contents for the March 8 issue here.