When people find it necessary to demand a "debate" or complain about the absence of same, it usually means they're frustrated because there is a debate and their side is losing. Sure enough, Dionne's complaint is that those who disagree with him--whom he labels "the gun lobby," "worshipers of weapons" and adherents to "the theology of firearms"--make their case far more effectively than his side does. "The rest of us," he whines, suffer from a "profound timidity," as a result of which they "allow" their opponents' arguments "to work every time."
Dionne is claiming that those on his side have good arguments but fail to advance them because they have poor character. That may be true, especially the part about poor character, but it's still an odd thing to say.
New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who governs a city some 1,800 miles from Aurora, demanded to know what President Obama and Mitt Romney are "going to do about" making it "harder to get guns." Bloomberg asserted that lawmakers "have been cowed by a handful of advocates who think that the right to bear arms allows you to go out and kill people at random." It is unlikely that anybody actually holds the position that Bloomberg ascribes to his opponents.
The president got into the act too. He "condemned U.S. gun laws as 'mistaken' and urged Washington to review them after a shooter killed 12 people and injured more than 50 others at a U.S. movie theater on Friday," Reuters reports, quoting his tweet: "Because of the Aurora, Colorado tragedy, the American Congress must review its mistaken legislation on guns. It's doing damage to us all."
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