Moreover, when America had a real-world, out-and-out tyrant running the government and his own party refused to hold him accountable for his crimes, 2A”patriots” lined up behind him, supporting tyranny, instead of fighting against it.
It always stank of hypocrisy, but now that position has been exposed as an excuse for treason.
Claim: the real issue in this shooting is [mental health | white supremacy | misogyny | bullying | economic anxiety | police brutality | etc. ]. We must address it first so these tragedies don’t occur.
A distraction/derailing tactic. The existence of (or speculation about) a contributing factor does not change the fact that the number of casualties in an incident are higher than they’d otherwise be because of the relatively easy availability of access to firearms in the U.S. Also, we’re capable as a nation of addressing more than one problem at the same time if we have the will to do so.
Re, the “mental health,” claim. In case anyone is not already aware, people suffering from mental health issues are far more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators.
But for anyone who wants to make the “mental health” argument, the next logical question is: okay, so you are saying that it’s probably a bad idea to give mentally unwell people guns, right?
So, you’re saying people should be screened for mental health before purchasing a gun? And then screened, what, annually, as long as they continue to own those guns?
Who does the screening and what standard do they use?
Would you pass?
Would this guy have passed?
If so, maybe mental health isn’t the issue. Maybe we just need a lot fewer guns around.
Related claim: “An armed society is a polite society” (Heinlein).
Putting aside the implied strange desire to live in a society where the only way to be a considerate person is by constantly living in fear of someone shooting you, this doesn’t work out in real life. Rank these OECD countries on their reputation for politeness and then consider the degree of unfettered access their citizens have to firearms: Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the U.S. There may be some debate about which society is the most polite, but there will be little on which is the least polite.
The claim made by Heinlein is, well, juvenile. And often repeated by young men, rarely women. But the empirical evidence proves that an armed society is a society constantly on edge, with none of the room for error in dealings that other societies have. So, I guess “polite” is a euphemism for “paranoid”.
In fact, I suspect the phrase may have been hinting at that. Robert E. Howard made a similar claim about how civilized people got away with rudeness that would have incited a split skull amongst barbarians. A masculine idea of how being polite is only enforced by threats of violence.
I feel the really painful thing about this argument - even if made by gun nuts - is that when we talk about reducing wealth disparity by using tax money to fund medical care and education, we can’t do that because it will be claimed that “we’re talking about gun violence, not tax policy”.