In 1997, I was asked, “Would you want to live in a country where the only people who have guns are the military and the police?” by an extraordinarily accomplished and politically centrist Indian-American lawyer who had grown up in Texas. I did not respond right away because I was sure it was a trick question. And then I stuttered. I couldn’t even argue because the question seemed to come from a completely unfamiliar world of knowledge and being. I remember my eyes goggling in my head while I tried to get a grip mentally.
Today, my eyes don’t goggle, though depending on my interlocutor, they may inquire, glare, or roll upwards. Today I am more practiced; more prepared to construct reedy arguments with statistics and political talking points; more patient.
Until there is one more avoidable mass shooting. And then, simply-if-tritely, I’m like Dylan: How many times…?