Jim Sleeper: Guns Require a New Politics

tags: Second Amendment, guns, gun control, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jim Sleeper



Jim Sleeper, a lecturer in political science at Yale, is the author of "The Closest of Strangers" and "Liberal Racism." E-mail him at james.sleeper@yale.edu.

The Senate Judiciary Committee was told often enough last week that the United States' intolerably high levels of murder and maiming by gunfire would drop sharply if we had the gun control of other developed nations. (Only Mexico and Guatemala have constitutional provisions resembling our Second Amendment.)

It won't happen, unless we dissolve the deep bond between our libertarian individualism and our glorification of runaway corporate engines that are disrupting public trust more brutally than their own managers ever intended or know how to stop.

The challenge is too deep for law or social science alone. A republic can't shape aggressive, impressionable youngsters into citizens unless it can nourish public narratives, myths, or constitutive fictions that give kids direction and hope....




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