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Who is complicit in these gun massacres?

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Sometimes it’s necessary to say hard things that might hurt some people. It’s called “telling truth to power”: if the truth isn’t spoken, it dies a slow, withering death.

Here’s some hard truth.

Gun ownership “is particularly common in rural parts of the country.” Nearly half of adults who live in rural areas own guns, compared to 28% in suburbs and only 10% in cities. Of those rural gun owners, 75% own more than one gun. These rural adults have very firm views of the value of guns in their lives. More than 80% say “the right to own guns is essential to their personal sense of freedom.” This is about equal to the percent of rural adults who say “freedom of religion also is essential to their sense of freedom.”

In other words, in rural America, it’s guns and God—the Christian god, that is.

Rural adults, not surprisingly, tend to vote Republican, especially in the deep south. Wilson County, Texas, where Sunday’s massacre occurred, voted overwhelmingly for Trump over Hillary Clinton: 72.7& vs. 24.9%.

As Republicans who love guns, they tend to reject any additional form of gun control—a position supported by their party. After the Las Vegas massacre, Republicans in Congress…made clear that they do not consider the Las Vegas shooting to be a reason for changing existing gun laws,” with Ted Cruz blaming “a psychopathic killer” for the murders, not the multiple semi-automatic weapons that killer had in his possession. This is the same lame excuse Trump used following the Texas massacre, when he said “mental health is your problem here,” not access to automatic weapons by deranged individuals.

So don’t expect any sensible gun control proposals by this president. “A little bit too soon,” he says.

The Republican Party routinely riles up its base by accusing Democrats of wanting to take away people’s guns. For instance, here’s the notorious demagogue, Alex Jones, one of Trump’s favorite radio personalities, immediately following the Las Vegas massacre. It’s worth quoting at length:

“The enemy’s engaging us. Everybody needs to be packing, like I told you on Friday and on Sunday. Get ready — Democrats are going to be killing people, a lot of folks. And obviously, just like you don’t see conservatives going out and doing mass shootings, they don’t want to blame the Second Amendment, they don’t want to go out and kill people. It’s almost always drug-head Democrats, devil worshippers, you name it. That’s their M.O. The Democrats know when they mass-kill now, they know to not say they’re Democrat operatives. They just want to use that to get the Second Amendment and get a civil war going.”

Lest it be forgotten, the Texas killings took place in a Christian church. So we can make a few assumptions about the good people of Wilson County and those who were killed and wounded in that church on bloody Sunday.

They are Christian Republicans. They own guns, often more than one weapon. They are against gun control. They believe Democrats want to kill the Second Amendment. They believe in God and think he will protect them and their families. They are strongly pro-Trump. And they were just mowed down by the dozens by one of their own in Sutherland Springs.

One wonders why such people have been so resistant to gun control, in any additional way, for so long. One wonders if the survivors in Wilson County, their friends and families, are now having second thoughts. Perhaps they’re having quiet conversations, as they mourn and bury their dead, about limiting gun magazine capacity, or universal background checks on gun purchases, or controlling the sale of weapons at gun shows, or forbidding the purchase of assault weapons.

Even if they are having such quiet conversations, one wonders if they have the courage to follow them through to their logical conclusion: Putting pressure on elected Republican officials to stand up to the National Rifle Association’s thugs and finally do the decent thing: enact sensible gun control. One despairs, however, that such will be the case. These rural Republican Christians have sown the wind; they have reaped the whirlwind. This is not to blame them for Sutherland Springs. It is to implicate them in its tragedy.

Mister President, many of the children who were slaughtered in that Texas church were about the same age as your youngest son, Barron.  So, Mister President, “A little bit too soon” for gun control? What if someone shot a bullet through Barron’s brain? Would that change your mind?

  1. Bob Rossi says:

    “One wonders if the survivors in Wilson County, their friends and families, are now having second thoughts.”
    I doubt it.

  2. I doubt it, too, which was the point of my post. In order to reach intelligent conclusions, one has to think logically, using the cerebral cortex. Those people do not think logically. They think with their old reptilian brain, which is driven by fear and anger. They’re nice people, in many ways, but they are terrible citizens.

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