Three days ago, The NYT published a piece by Brooks that ended on the topic of good-manners during a political conversation with someone of a different ideology. But he started out in the wrong foot. Using the Parkland massacre as the backdrop, Brooks insisted that “it’s not enough to just vent and march” and that if the liberal “Blues” keep shaming the conservative “Reds” we will go nowhere. Then he showed his card: “It’s necessary to let people from Red America to lead the way and to show respect at gun owners at all points” because “there has to be trust and respect first. Then we can strike a compromise on guns as guns, and not some sacred cross in the culture war.”
Civility is Brooks’s cudgel against the left. Whenever there is a case against a cherished value of Red American, Brook would trot it out to hammer on the supposedly “coastal elite.” It’s a weak hinge to hang any sympathize-us-please monologue because it never pondered only about one side. Why should the gun violence victims have to “show respect” or let anyone else lead the way toward their safety? In this case, many of them can’t even vote and must they have to pay someone a tribute before sounding off?
How can there be respect when the supposed leaders of Red American called for arming of teachers? Where is their respect for teachers when they unload yet one more responsibility on the noble career?
There is zero patience left for Red America because the gun-control advocates have been stymied since the assault rifle ban lapsed in 2004. What have gun owners done to stop the massacres that followed? How can there be any if their best and first answer to gun violence is telling everyone to go buy a gun and treat America as the old Wild West?