Here’s a prediction you can take to the bank: The two sides will bicker pointlessly about this issue until Uvalde fades from the news. Nothing of substance will happen, nothing will change. People will get bored and go on to find something else to be outraged at each other about. Two weeks ago, it was abortion. A month ago, it was Ukraine. Three months ago, it was trans rights. We’re just about due for another round of Trump and Russia. Eventually, of course, another shooting will occur, and then, we will be back to yelling about guns.
Are we doomed to repeat this, again and again? Why must our politics be so pointless? Unfortunately, the answer to the first question is yes, because the answer to the second question is that we as a people no longer possess the civic virtue necessary to fix it.
Second, too many people, on both the Left and Right, are completely uninterested in fixing any of this, for that would require compromise. Politics is supposed to be the venue by which a diverse people finds points of agreement. But that is not how we treat it. Politics is our religion these days, and the worship of the divine does not usually admit of splitting the difference.
But this might be too charitable, for it implies that Americans have some profound, yet overwrought, commitment to abstract principles of right and wrong. Does that give us too much credit? Perhaps. Certainly, some Americans are so severely committed to a set of abstract principles that common ground is anathema to them. But many, many others enjoy the conflict for its own grubby pleasures. Our politics are a cafeteria food fight, and lots of people love flinging the meatloaf.
— Jay Cost for The Washington Examiner