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August 05, 2019 07:33 AM MDT

For Republicans, Inaction is the Only Action on Gun Violence

  • by: Colorado Pols
Washington Post Republican Response on Mass Shootings
The Washington Post (8/4/19)

At least 29 31 people are dead after mass shootings last weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Dozens more are seriously wounded. We’ll say again what we said in this space after the STEM school shooting in Highlands Ranch last spring: If you want change, you need to get rid of the (largely Republican) elected officials who are doing everything in their power to maintain the bloody status quo.

As Felicia Sonmez and Paul Kane write for the Washington Post, Republican leaders have been largely silent or uselessly vague in response to the latest wave of domestic terrorism to strike the United States:

The Republican Party, which controls power in Washington and both states where America’s most recent mass shootings occurred, struggled on Sunday to provide a response or offer a solution to what has become a public safety epidemic…

…Some Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, cited the influence of social media and video games or mentioned mental health problems. But on the question of how to stem the rising tide of gun violence, the overwhelming response from the party was silence or generalities. [Pols emphasis]…

…The reaction mirrored how the GOP has responded after other mass shootings whose city names have become painfully familiar to most Americans — Parkland, Fla.; Sutherland Springs, Tex.; Las Vegas; Virginia Beach; Pittsburgh and Annapolis, Md.

A handful of Republican lawmakers on Sunday endorsed stricter gun controls, but most in the GOP ignored Democratic demands that the Senate abandon its summer recess and return to Washington to address the issue. The House passed two bills in February that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to consider.

Associated Press Trump mass shootings
The Associated Press (8/5/19)

After offering very little of substance on Saturday and Sunday, President Trump today endorsed calls from his daughter, Ivanka Trump, for a federal version of a “red flag” law. Generally referred to as Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO), these efforts are are also supported by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina). Dudley Brown, the head honcho at Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), which is a more-extreme version of the NRA in Colorado, immediately hit back at Trump’s suggestion.

In remarks to the media today, Trump also decried white nationalism, blamed video games for violent behavior, and offered prayers for the people of “Toledo,” which is, of course, a completely different city than Dayton, Ohio. Trump’s response certain won’t make anyone feel like the issue of gun violence is being taken seriously by the White House. Trump’s call to focus on mental illness rings hollow given his earlier efforts to make it easier for the mentally ill to get their hands on a firearm (Colorado Republicans, BTW, opposed legislation in the spring to improve mental health services in our state).

Gun violence is also not being given any real consideration by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — or #MassacreMitch, as he is trending on social media accounts — is flat-out refusing to even allow debate on two packages of gun safety legislation passed by the House of Representatives in February.

Many Republicans reacted to news of the shootings by setting up straw men that they could then pretend to take down with their own rhetoric. South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott appeared on the CBS show “Face the Nation” to make this point: “A lot of folks say that prayers don’t matter. Well, I will disagree with them vehemently.”

Okay, great.

Here in Colorado, former State House Speaker Frank McNulty took a similar approach:

Americans are rightly tired of elected officials doing little else aside from offering “thoughts and prayers” after a mass shooting, which is where Sen. Scott and McNulty miss the point here entirely. Prayer is important for many people, but it isn’t a solution to the problem of gun violence in America. Please do pray for the victims of gun violence; when you’re done, call your U.S. Senator. There may not be one single piece of legislation that could have prevented the many mass shootings over the last week, but something is better than nothing at all. We didn’t stop mandating seatbelts in cars just because that policy failed to stop every deadly accident.

The primary suspect in the El Paso shootings.

While Scott and McNulty are focused on something entirely different, at least they didn’t echo the response from Ohio State Rep. Candice Keller, a Republican who represents an area near Dayton, Ohio. Keller placed the blame for mass shootings in a number of different places — from “drag queens” to “transgender” to former President Barack Obama and professional athletes who fail to stand for the playing of the National Anthem. Guns don’t kill people; drag queens force people with guns to kill other people. And also Colin Kapernick, or something. Whatever point Keller was trying to make, the important takeaway here is that nothing in her response had anything to do with taking practical steps to deal with the problem of gun violence in America.

As for Colorado Republicans, Kyle Clark of 9News provides some important context:

Can we solve the crisis of mass shootings in Colorado and the rest of the country? It is absolutely possible…we just can’t do it with the current batch of Republicans in charge.


9 thoughts on “For Republicans, Inaction is the Only Action on Gun Violence

  1. Oh, I dunno. There's a new action-based narrative making the rounds among wingnuts. No more "thoughts and prayers," no more blaming video games or mental illness; the new narrative is about blaming diversity.

    Why does Switzerland have such a high incidence of firearm ownership yet such a low incidence of mass shootings, you ask? Well, see, it's because Switzerland is "homogeneous," i.e., full of educated, high-IQ white people. What's the problem with the U.S.? Well, see, the U.S. is "diverse," i.e., filled with ignorant, low-IQ non-whites.

    So the "action" required here is making America less "diverse" and more "homogeneous." This narrative goes well with the full-on Nazification of the GOP.

    1. Well then, I guess there’s really only one workable solution left here . . . 

      . . . send ‘em back (all those white people unable to peacefully assimilate into our diverse culture) to Switzerland, and wherever else it was that they came from?!?

      . . .

      That or maybe adopt Switzerland’s weapons laws?

      . . .

      PS — It might be helpful to remind these Einsteins that most Swiss fluently speak at least all four of the country’s official languages; none of which being ‘Merican English.

    2. So they’re going to full on blaming the victims. If only those shoppers hadn’t chosen to be appearing to be Hispanic while shopping in Walmart, they’d be alive today.

      Words fail me for how obscene this is.  

      I went to church yesterday, because I needed the spiritual support. My Unitarian church did a “blessing of the backpacks” for all the kids who were there. I just lost it, thinking of all the little kids and families murdered while buying backpacks, crayons, pencils, etc…all with blooming hope and enthusiasm for a new school year. There weren’t many dry eyes in the house. 

      All we can do is speak, march , call, pray, protest, write. All we can do is all we must do.

      We have to pass red flag laws, enforce them, leaders must denounce white racism, license guns like cars, allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers, require homeowners with firearms to store them safely, require expensive insurance for assault style weapons. We may need more community resource officers and trained armed guards in schools, but shouldn’t ask or encourage teachers and other adults to be  the armed guards. There’s a lot that can be done with mental health and safe schools programs, that isn’t being done because of lack of funding. 

      Cory Gardner won’t vote for any of that, since he is bought by the NRA.

    3. Hmmm, and yet most of the shooters are in fact poorly educated, low IQ white people. Does this mean that the republicons will now be coming out in full support of funding for public education?

      1. How can you extrapolate low education / low IQ from the Mother Jones database? My quick and dirty count was about 70% white, 95% male mass killers dating back to 1982.

        Mental health issues, at least diagnosed known ones, are also not that common among the known mass murderers. Only about 30% (again, my quick and dirty count) had known psychiatric issues.

        But looking at the Dayton killer, which I finally did (and yes,Negev, he is a Democrat, per multiple reliable sources), he is the guy who was the bully in high school. He was the guy who had no close friends. He was the guy who hated women so much that he joined a "pornogrind" band which performs songs about raping and killing women. (Yes, apparently this is a known sub-genre of metal rock). And eventually, he was the guy who killed his own sister and eight other people at a popular bar.

        That guy? that guy, you don't want to allow him access to guns. Background check may not turn up anything, he may or may not have been institutionalized or had a restraining order against him, but somebody knew that this guy should not be allowed to strut around with an assault rifle. It's why we need red flag laws.

        I don't know what modern mental health practice can do to make sociopathic narcissists more normal and functional. But as a society, we don't have to give them weapons of mass murder.



        1. Based on your data link it shows 115 mass shootings since 1982? Media shows 291 mass shootings this year. 24 of the 115 in your source show assault weapons (approx 20%) were used and 2 guns total  obtained via private party (1.7%)

          Probly great data for red flag law. For banning assault weapons and universal background check? Not so much as it seems you define "not so common" as about 30% or less. Just my down and dirty but I love your source. 




    1. Most mass murderers are white. So are most of their victims. That’s just American demographics. Mother Jones has been compiling a database since 2012, covering mass shootings since 1982.  

      Us intelligence officials now recognize that domestic terrorism, usually perpetrated by armed white males who have been “radicalized” by extremist ideology, is a major national security threat. Six former NSC Directors are calling for domestic racially motivated and conspiracy-theory informed terrorism to be legally defined and resources directed to fight it. But with Trump’s cabinet in charge, it will be a tough sell no matter how much the bodies keep piling up. 

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