Salon, Heather Digby Parton, 25 May 2022: Texas school shooting: The right responds to massacre by calling for more guns, subtitled, “Repeated massacres, even of tiny children, automatically evoke calls to put more guns in schools and on the streets”
This recalls Wayne LaPierre’s infamous notion that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
So how has that worked out? If having more guns in the population led to increased safety, American should have the lowest gun deaths of any advanced nation. It has the highest.
Slate, Alex Yablon, 25 May 2022: The GOP’s Only Answer to School Shootings Didn’t Help in Uvalde
But while the “good guy with a gun” mantra has the ring of tough guy common sense, the empirical evidence suggests armed cops and civilians do less than nothing to deter mass shooters.
In the Texas shootings yesterday,
Law enforcement actually engaged the shooter before he got into the elementary school. Indeed, as the Austin American-Statesman reported, it was actually a school guard—a good guy with a gun—who confronted and failed to prevent the shooter’s entry.
Last year, a group of public health scholars published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association examining 133 school shootings from 1980 to 2019. An armed guard was present in about a quarter of the incidents in the study. Those schools actually suffered death rates nearly three times higher than schools without armed guards. Similarly, a 2020 review of gun policy research by the RAND Corporation think tank found no evidence that the presence of more guns had any effect on gun violence. Criminologists at Texas State University found that unarmed staff or the shooters themselves are far more likely to bring a school shooting to an end than someone with a gun returning fire.
But gun rights is an ideology, a belief like religion, that is immune to evidence.
Salon, Amanda Marcotte, 25 May 2022: Republicans don’t care about kids — just imaginary children, subtitled, “For all the talk about ‘groomers’ and ‘pro-life,’ the GOP ignores — or exacerbates — threats against real children”
In the aftermath of the latest mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas — which left 19 small children and two adults dead — Republicans are working through their usual playbook to buy time until the shooting fades from the headlines. So there’s lots of “mental health” talk from the same politicians and pundits who want to gut our already paltry social services. And there’s lots of whining about how the real victims here are Republicans being criticized for their sociopathic policies, and not the dead kids and their families. Lots of fantasizing about how the solution is a “good guy with a gun,” even though multiple officers were on the scene and exchanged fire with the shooter before he entered the school, to no avail.
The script Republicans roll out is predictable and nonsensical. It’s meant to be. Meaningless noise is a useful political tactic. It exhausts people, leaving them too demoralized to fight for a better world.
The soullessness and contempt for humanity are only more illuminated by the fact that these are the same people who just spent months justifying abortion bans by glibly pretending to be “pro-life.” Like every other pretext that spills out of Republican mouths, that too is a lie. Opposition to abortion rights is about gender and sexuality, as evidenced by the sprawling sexism that reaches every corner of conservativism. The contrast between the theatrical sentimentality over an embryo versus the lack of any true concern over actual child murder really drives home the point.
Much more; as usual Marcotte pulls no punches.
The Onion, from 2017 (it never goes out of style): ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
It’s short. Just a paragraph. Everyone knows what The Onion is, right?
NYT, Nicholas Kristof, 24 May 2022: How to Reduce Shootings
Long, analytical piece, with charts about gun ownership among developed countries, gun murders per 100,000 people, and so on. America has more guns than any other country, almost one per citizen. I suspect folks in right-wing bubbles are not aware of this.
First of his suggestions: “We have a model for regulating guns: automobiles.”
And “The liberal approach is ineffective. Use a public health approach instead.”
And: “Few guns = fewer deaths”
And: “Mass shootings are not the main cause of life” — This is an excellent point. The number of dead in mass shootings is only 1.2% of all gun deaths. Most are suicides and homicides. The mass shootings get all the media attention, which is in a way an indictment of the media, which focuses on tragic events but not long term trends. But all of these gun deaths speak to the easy availability of guns. Just look at evidence: all those other countries (see below).
And: “Tightening gun laws lowered firearm homicide rates” With evidence.
And: “There is a shocking lack of research on guns” This is because Republicans in Congress have prohibited such research. They don’t want to know.
And: “The right type of training could go a long way”
And: “A way forward: On some issues, majorities agree”
This is the blunt, damning truth: The latest shooting was 100 percent predictable.
After each such incident, we mourn the deaths and sympathize with the victims, but we do nothing fundamental to reduce our vulnerability.
Some of you will protest that the immediate aftermath of a shooting is too soon to talk about guns, or that it is disrespectful to the dead to use such a tragedy to score political points. Yet more Americans have died from gun violence, including suicides, since 1970 (about 1.4 million) than in all the wars in American history going back to the Revolutionary War (about 1.3 million). And it’s not just gang-members: In a typical year, more pre-schoolers are shot dead in America (about 75) than police officers are.
Finally, this meme that’s gone around on Facebook for years. (It’s not by Nev Schulman, he’s just the latest guy to post it.) It never gets old.