You can't always get what you want
But maybe we're about to get what we need
Somewhere between chopping garlic cloves and sauteeing greens for dinner the other night, my wife and I were singing along to a comforting notion advanced a half-century ago by the eminent philosopher Sir Michael Philip Jagger. “You can’t always get what you want,” Mick sang, “but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”
Yeah, sometimes. But just then we were thinking about the second mass shooting in a week, and the astonishingly callous response it had elicited from some politicians. On so many levels these days, American society isn’t delivering what we want. But, then, maybe Mick is right that we’re about to get what we need. Maybe it’s all in the trying.
Take that issue of gun violence, for instance, which uniquely permeates American society. What we want is pretty clear, if by “we” you mean the 84 percent of American voters who support background checks for all gun purchases, or if “we” is the 70 percent who want to ban assault weapons, the killers’ choice in nine of the 10 d…