Twenty years ago it would have been hard to imagine the our country’s present acceptance gay marriage. In 1994, the year in which The American Medical Association first opposed treatments intended to cure homosexuality, if you had predicted that homosexuals would be a protected class and that it would be illegal to fire a person for being gay in 2014, you would have sounded like a crazy person. But times have changed. Old, angry a-holes die off by the day and they are replaced by younger people with, by and large, a more mature and less terror-filled world view.
So it is fitting to wonder what might our gun mayhem situation be like 20 years from now. Whereas now we need to allow psychotic criminals easy access to guns because a highly mobilized minority think the only alternative to that is “tyranny” – what might the demographic picture look like in 2034? As the hysterical nuts who are currently enjoying their last gasps die off, will they be able to replace themselves with equally terrified youths at a rate that keeps gun mayhem alive for another generation?
The demographics argue against it, but that doesn’t mean that the NRA is not trying to turn the next generation into terrified nutbags. Unlike the nation’s Opera companies or the GOP, the NRA is not planning on letting the underwriters of their lavish lifestyles to simply peeter out. They see the trends and they are now making a point of appealing to a young demographic with more aspirational – less terror filled advertising. And knowing that Charlton Heston’s cold dead hand wasn’t the best front man, the NRA has added a young, hip, less shrill spokesperson/youtube channel host.
Of course, the advancement in gay rights over the past 20 years hasn’t all been due to demographics. The diligent work of scores of people educating their families, friends and workplaces made the most out of the demographics. They moved the needle tirelessly over the past twenty years. Can gun sanity be a cause that generates a similar movement of committed activists? With each mass shooting, I think that day draws a little closer. Groups like Mom’s Demand Action were invisible in this debate two years ago. In another two years who knows where we’ll be.