At least 21 people, including 19 children, were shot dead at an elementary school in Texas yesterday. Hours after the genocide, another genocide, simply the latest genocide, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr sat down at his pregame press conference before Game 4 of the Western Conference finals and spoke from the heart.
Kerr’s anger is righteous and deeply felt, and it is admirable that he used his platform to convey such a message. I was particularly struck by his willingness to be precise. It’s easy for a celebrity with a microphone to talk emotionally, but especially for “how our leaders are failing us,” but Kerr spoke directly about the fact that the U.S. Senate has faced constant gun violence, and with that knowledge The vast majority of Americans support stricter regulations on gun sales, not even passing a bill that would extend the use of background checks.
“Do you understand that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want a public background check?” Kerr said. “Ninety percent of us. We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to vote for what the American people want.
That’s right. We are being held hostage every day by organizations that seek to deny the popular will of the people. The fact that we do not have access to universal health care, that we are losing the federally protected right to abortion, and that we cannot even dream of a country where anything close to gun policy will result in this hostage situation. This disconnection between the visible purpose of our political system and how that system actually works leads us to the fundamental question of the moment: what to do about it?
Kerr’s answer – a fervent appeal to Mitch McConnell and other Republican senators to pass the most insignificant gun control measures – is an option. It’s good that he said that and sadly that’s what he wants. Hopefully he and someone else won’t stop at such a small request for those who see things.