Another mass shooting? You know what that means. We’ll discuss guns for a few days and then ignore the topic for the rest of the year (until the next mass shooting). Meanwhile, pro-gun people will swarm the Internet and TV channels pressing the usual old, tired talking points. We need to make absolutely sure we continue to learn nothing from this latest tragedy, all while wringing hands and expressing deep sorrow for the dead and bereaved. I tell you what…let’s cut to the chase, shall we? We’ve heard it all before. I bet news stations are dying to get back to covering really important things…like what the new Doritos flavor might be, the rad new films coming out this weekend at the Googleplex, or the latest crazy YouTube viral video.
A handy conservative / pro-gun person / gun nut trolling checklist:
1. Refuse to acknowledge correlation between gun culture with lax gun laws and constant news stories about mass murdering assholes shooting people.
2. Say nothing as pro-gun people decide, as always, to be the Civility Police and whine that the day to discuss gun issues is “not today.” But tomorrow isn’t good either. Yesterday? Nope: they’ll lie and say that these mass shootings are “rare” and that even considering a discussion about flaws with gun control in our country “punishes” responsible gun-owners! In short, it is never a good time to discuss the subject. Just how they like it.
3. Say nothing when pro-gun people bore and enrage us with the well-worn and grossly flawed assertion that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
4. Say nothing when pro-gun people start comparing a crazy Chinese man stabbing 22 kids with a knife (none of whom, as far as I know, died) to the Newborn and Clackamas tragedies, where people were injured AND died, pretending that the knifings in China are in any way equivalent to the constant gun violence and mass shootings in the U.S.
5. Say nothing as religious trolls like Mike Huckabee start blaming “godlessness” for gun violence. Because bad things never happen to devout Christians, no mass shooter ever has been a Christian, and prayer can definitely stop a madman from spewing bullets at your five-year-old child.
6. Mitt Romney should pop up any moment now to blame single moms for gun violence again, like he did during the Presidential debates. Oh, wait; no, he won’t, so you need to whine that Romney’s comment is completely irrelevant to the discussion because he lost the election, and ignore what it says about the GOP that they nominated someone who could say that with a straight face.
7. Say nothing when pro-gun people start protesting that they are “responsible,” ergo should not be deprived of the right to own multiple AK-47s or semi-automatics capable of spraying dozens if not hundreds of bullets into crowds.
8. Say nothing about pro-gun people clinging to 2nd Amendment and interpreting it with great creativity, although gun tech at the time the 2nd Amendment was drafted was restricted to primitive muskets and the like.
9. Express zero concern as pro-gun people claim they need to arm themselves against the government, etc., even though the government has and always will have access to greater and more destructive firepower than any one citizen can get access to. Also, we definitely need more anti-government kooks arming themselves to the teeth.
10. Nod agreeably as pro-gun people cite the few cases where a gun owner justifiably shot someone trying to rob, harm or kill them, while ignoring that there may hve been an option other than deadly force, and while ignoring the many cases where a gun was accessed by a small child or unstable pre-pubescent and fired, where suicidal or homicidal people turned to guns rather than psychiatric intervention, where a gun discharged unexpectedly and hurt or killed someone, where a gun turned a domestic violence incident into a homicide, where bullets fired from guns on holidays like New Year’s Eve or the Fourth of July wounded or killed an innocent party, where guns were stolen and used to commit more violent crimes, where guns were accessible to a mentally imbalanced or impaired adult, where adult white men used guns to shoot non-white teenagers dead over minor disagreements, where easy civilian gun access makes criminals even more dangerous, where easy civilian gun access gets our law enforcement officers shot dead, where heavy reliance on guns makes our law enforcement officers more likely to kill unarmed civilians, or where a gun escalated what might have been a less serious dispute into a deadly confrontation.
11. Refuse to discuss ties between politicians–usually conservatives–and donations to and from NRA.
12. Refuse to discuss who refused to support gun restrictions and reasonable legislation intended to reduce ease of access to guns.
13. Refuse to discuss reluctance to offer the mentally troubled access to the care or meds they might need. In fact, you should whine more about affordable healthcare that covers mental issues.
14. Refuse to discuss gun show loopholes.
15. Refuse to consider proposals to enforce gun owner responsibility while claiming to already be responsible enough.
16. Assert that more guns would have prevented the problem, because kindergarteners packing Glocks and teachers bringing guns to school (workplace) is a great idea.
17. Ignore that MI just passed legislation approving of guns in schools.
18. Pretend that the shooter(s) were just crazy, and that access to guns didn’t make their issues worse.
19. Pretend that discussing the inarguable gun proliferation in the U.S. is akin to “wanting to take away” everyone’s guns, or that discussing the problem is equal to “stomping on 2nd Amendment rights.”
20. Indulge pro-gun people’s fantasies that if they were on site with their guns during one of these frequent mass shootings, that they’d be a hero and stop the carnage.
21. Ignore NRA’s agenda (sell more guns) and allow them to set the tone of all discussions about guns.
22. Post on Twitter, if you are a comedian, about how your 1st Amendment rights are stomped on if people respond unpleasantly to your hilarious jokes about dead children.
23. Continue to glorify guns in pop culture.
24. Drag Jesus into it some more, demanding that everyone pray for the dead and bereft, and claiming that the shooter wouldn’t have been the shooter if only he really loved Jesus enough.
25. Interview traumatized little kids on TV who just survived a school shooting that killed their classmates and teachers.
26. Clutch pearls for an entire 24 hour news cycle, and then drop the subject the next time Snooki says something stupid or a celebrity wears a nice outfit.
27. Don’t forget to drag political animus into the discussion, so you can cloud the issue with your hatred of anything a “liberal” or President Obama says or does.
28. Give desperately-sought attention to nasty partisan hacks like Coulter asserting that “more guns = less violence.”
29. Blame “violent media” like films, TV, video games, cartoons, music for gun violence, rather than blaming easy access to guns for gun violence.
30. Be sure to publicly announce your plans to go out and buy yourself a new gun or three “to defend yourself.” Stay scared, buy more guns, refuse to go to a range or take any gun safety courses to familiarize yourself with your weapons, just buy more.
31. Insist on increased, intrusive security measures so our schools and workplaces are more and more like prisons, while ignoring that reducing the amount of guns would make that kind of security less necessary in the first place.
32. Try to blame the parents of the dead children for not choosing to home-school them, or the parents of the shooters for gun violence, so people stop talking about how gun violence is directly tied to guns.
33. Blame society as a whole for gun violence, so people stop talking about how gun violence is directly tied to guns.
34. Continue to resist background check laws, and ignore stats that indicate that background checks, requiring people to use gun locks and to lock up guns, restricting access to guns, restricting access to more powerful and destructive guns with bigger clips, and enforcing waiting periods are useful steps that reduce gun violence.
35. Above all, pretend that gun culture isn’t really a big problem, and that it is just a teeny, tiny handful of bad people causing all the problems…on a nearly weekly basis…while wielding guns…but, hey, that’s purely a coincidence.
I discussed this on Facebook and got some good replies. I’d like to single out these:
Comment by E***** A***** D*****: The one you missed is their citing Switzerland as a culture where gun violence is low but the government arms adults with firearms, meanwhile forgetting to mention those are persons who have completed compulsory military conscription who have to account for ammunition in sealed boxes, that Switzerland although guaranteeing the right to own a firearm by law has the most restrictive gun regulations (e.g., licence renewal every 5 years, need to prove the need to own a firearm – hunting, sport, etc., ammunition sold under strictest of regulations, any hint of domestic violence (past and likelihood) results in no licence and the list continues. They make the best argument for regulations without even being aware of it! If you ever see the meme for Switzerland as a reason for allowing Gun Ownership, merely comment. We accept your terms and conditions, and will model our laws to mirror their laws. Glad to oblige you Gun Owners!
Comment by L** F****: Yeah. The thing that amazes me is that people freak out about the idea of stricter gun regulations when the Second Amendment explicitly advocates keeping and bearing arms in the context of “a well-regulated militia.” Unless you have had military training and had no record of mental instability in the military, you should have to join a citizen run gun club in order to own a gun, where you get basic training, and attend meetings on at least some sort of regular basis. Besides the fact that more safety education and training will be its own reward, there’s the added advantage that you are training with a bunch of people who have the opportunity to observe your behavior. If someone is mentally unstable, likely a fellow club member would notice it and be able to take appropriate action as far as whether they should have access to guns. It would also give a lot of at-risk young men an opportunity to find mentors and other community members who can be role models for them. I love how all these people who advocate personal responsibility whine incessantly about their Second Amendment rights but completely ignore their Second Amendment responsibilities.