By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Here we are again.
Another school shooting. Another AR-15. Another domestic terrorist.
And more of the same BS answers from conservatives and gun nuts about a problem that is, quite obviously, directly linked to the weapon of choice used in these awful attacks — a gun.
For some reason, large swaths of Americans, and particularly Alabamians, are incredibly protective of guns — more so, it seems, than of school children. And as such, after every mass shooting, the same old rhetoric gets spewed again and again.
And why not? That rhetoric has proven to be quite effective, given that the U.S. Congress hasn’t passed a single meaningful piece of gun legislation despite overseeing the only country on earth where school children are slaughtered in classrooms on a fairly routine basis.
But as effective as it is, the weird thing about that rhetoric — about all of the fantasyland what about-isms and false equivalencies and factual inaccuracies and exaggerated stats — is that, when you get right down to it, it’s fairly stupid.
For example, here’s one you hear a lot: We should enforce the existing laws!
In Florida, where Wednesday’s shooting occurred, an 18-year-old can legally purchase an AR-15 in a private sale without so much as a background check and never show so much as a driver’s license to buy millions of rounds of ammo, tactical gear and equipment.
So, help me out, which gun laws should we be enforcing?
Never mind, I’ll tell you which ones — we should be enforcing the laws that President Obama proposed and Democrats in Congress tried to pass after the mass killing of kindergarten kids in Newtown. Obama wanted to expand background checks, improve the mental health screening process, ban some assault weapons and expanded magazines and require training courses to own guns.
Oh, but that was deemed “gun control” by the NRA-backed loonies, and it died quickly.
Which brings me to the next talking point: The constitution says “shall not infringe”!
It never ceases to amaze me how many half-literate buffoons can recite the back end of the 2nd Amendment but seem completely befuddled by the first half: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state ….”
The NRA and gun manufacturers sorta left that part out. Because it blows up their myth of unregulated gun ownership.
The Founders didn’t want a bunch of hillbillies roaming through Target with assault rifles over their shoulders. They wanted a trained and capable militia in each state — in place of a standing federal army.
They also wanted people to be responsible with their firearms, which is why the people in 1776 America had more far-reaching gun laws than the people in 2018 America, including laws on storage and who could keep weapons.
Which brings me to the next talking point: More guns is the answer! If we armed teachers, that would solve it!
Except, it doesn’t solve anything. In fact, on a daily basis, more guns equals more shootings. Every single time.
In the wake of Newtown, a number of school districts across America tried out armed security guards. Accidental shootings went up. There were multiple instances of loaded guns being left in school restrooms.
And let’s be clear here: the average good guy with a gun rationale could only be believed by small children or adults whose brains stopped developing as they watched “Die Hard.”
Let me break this down for you: In 2015, two veteran NYPD officers were fired upon by a guy who they were attempting to apprehend for stealing car stereos. The cops returned fire. They shot 84 times on a NYC street.
They hit the suspect once. He was grazed on his calf.
This dream that Mr. Upton, the algebra teacher, is going to put down a mass shooter is really, really stupid.
Which brings me to the final talking point: Mental health is the real issue we should be discussing.
I agree. We should be talking about the mental health of anyone who believes more guns, in this gun-loving country, is the answer to a gun problem that only occurs with such frequency in this country.
Our mental health services in this country are woefully inadequate. But maybe spare me the phony concern over this problem that you seem to have only when it can be used as an excuse not to address America’s gun problem. After all, I didn’t notice any funding measures in the White House’s budget that drastically address the mental health care funding crisis, and I don’t seem to recall GOP members of Congress expressing outrage when the domestic abuse-enabler y’all elected president was rolling back Obama’s regulations on mental health patients purchasing firearms.
Guns are the problem.
Too many Americans believe that a gun is a magical instrument that makes its owner instantly safer. Yet, statistics say the exact opposite is true — that you’re less safe with a gun in your home, and even during an attack, more than half of gun owners end up with their own weapons being used against them.
But by now, it should be no surprise that Americans believe faulty information or that they rely on their egos to make decisions that ignore clear facts.
That’s the only way that leaders of a country where 18 shootings have occurred on school campuses could do nothing but offer thoughts and prayers.