Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, 6 Jun 2022: Most Americans don’t accept the mass slaughter of children. Why does the GOP?
While 60 percent of Americans favor tougher gun laws, only 29 percent of Republicans do, according to the latest CBS News-YouGov poll. A significant majority (62 percent) favor banning semiautomatic weapons such as AR-15s, but only 31 percent of Republicans say the same. Support for red-flag laws among Republicans is 20 points lower than among the general public.
It gets wackier from there. Only 3 percent of Republicans say America would be safer if guns were banned; only 13 percent say it would be safer with fewer guns. A plurality of Republicans are convinced the number of guns has no effect on gun violence.
The kicker is that while only 28 percent of the general population thinks we have to accept mass gun murder as part of living in a free society, 44 percent of Republicans do. It’s an open question as to whether Republicans truly believe that claim or simply deny that there are solutions to maintain their belief in unlimited access to guns. But their willingness to accept tens of thousands of deaths each year from gun-related injuries, including small children, should stun and depress the rational Americans who do not think mass murders of schoolchildren are just a part of life.
The essay goes on with how Republicans think abortion laws really will stop all abortions — in contrast to their beliefs about gun laws. (Yes, yes — there are no plausible gun reforms in play anywhere near as severe as the conservative proscriptions against abortion. But even there were, they wouldn’t stop all gun crimes either, granted.) And Republican indifference to covid protections, including masks and vaccines. Where is their concern for life, exactly? Conclusion:
These Republicans, in other words, refused to give up their “freedom” to be carriers of a disease. That freedom from vaccines and masks might have contributed to more deaths (even their own), but — heck — that’s the cost of doing business in a free society.
The GOP has no business affixing the pro-life tag to its party when time and again Republicans insist their right to be free of inconveniences and regulation takes precedence over human life. Democrats should reclaim the pro-life label. They are the party that is willing to “suffer” the mild inconvenience of masks and vaccination and “sacrifice” weapons of war to protect others. They are therefore far more deserving of the “pro-life” mantle.
A much more cynical take is this, the argument summarized in the title and subtitle.
Salon, Amanda Marcotte, 6 Jun 2022: U.S. gun laws are causing mayhem and mass murder — and Republicans couldn’t be more thrilled, subtitled, “Crappy gun laws cause our crime problems. But Republicans blame liberal prosecutors and make racist arguments”
This is how Republicans operate: Break things and then blame Democrats for the damage.
The 2008 economic crash; the pandemic; gun violence. Invoking the “great replacement” conspiracy theory.
Of course, other Republican propagandists are a bit more subtle — though only a little bit — in their race-baiting, blaming “woke” prosecutors for crime instead of evoking racist stereotypes directly. Fox News is, of course, blaming Philadelphia’s progressive district attorney, Larry Krasner, for the shooting. Right-wing media has also been hyping a recall election focused on similarly progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. As the Washington Post notes, violent crime “remains at some of the lowest levels it has been in four decades” in San Francisco, but that hasn’t slowed down the GOP narrative one bit.
Here today in the Bay Area, in fact, the voting for the Chesa Boudin recall is going on. The issue, as I see it, is that Boudin — as promised in his campaign! — is trying indirect methods to reform repeat criminals, rather than just throw ever burglar in jail for an indefinite period. Voters seem not to approve of the results, cherry-picking individual cases to show crime getting worse. You can always count on the majority to prefer a simple solution, over an indirect and potentially long-term greater solution.
One more cause for gun violence (see my post of the 4th): Black people (Blake Masters)