Politicizing mass shootings just ensures that more will occur

Mass shootings are awful enough, but leftists have politicized them. They then suggest that by politicizing these tragedies even more, the frequency of them will decrease.

Life in America has become so politicized that there appears to be a talking points framework for discussing anything that happens. As a result, the same script is being reproduced in the media in the aftermath of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, that was replayed in the aftermath of the shooting in Buffalo, which was replayed in the aftermath of the shooting in...

Each political tribe has its own narrative, assuming that because these terrible occurrences have been politicized, a political remedy exists (along with a political cause). For example, in Texas, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke disrupted a press conference held by Republican Governor Greg Abbott on the Uvalde shooting.

At one level, we can dismiss the actions of both men, as each was trying to score political points. However, we cannot dismiss the accusation O’Rourke levied at Abbott: “This one’s on you.” He added:

The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you are doing nothing. You said this is not predictable. This is totally predictable. This will continue to happen. Somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed, just like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday.

O'Rourke's self-styled "solution" is to outlaw the AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle that has been used in a number of mass shootings, including Uvalde, Buffalo, and the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, with the assumption, one assumes, that once that particular semiautomatic rifle is no longer commercially available, no mass shootings will occur, which is a heroic assumption at best.

When asked about gun control during his brief run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, O'Rourke, who ran on a platform of removing tax exemptions from churches and religious organizations whose theology does not match the Democratic Party's current position on the Sexual Revolution, told an audience:

Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.

While complimenting O'Rourke, progressive Christian college professor John Fea echoed the traditional progressive narrative that ending mass shootings is a relatively straightforward political problem involving politicians banning particular types of guns and imposing other limitations on gun owners. While agreeing with conservatives that gun regulations are unlikely to prevent mass shootings, Christian writer David French has put his faith in so-called red flag laws, which aim to detect persons who might commit such crimes. You don't have to be an old-school ACLU supporter to grasp the legal and moral difficulties of such a program, no matter how well-intentioned it may be. Furthermore, the police will be quite efficient in implementing the "red flag" rules against those who are unlikely to be genuine public safety risks.

Another feature of mass shootings that will not be highlighted in the media or in the most recent political response is that they give progressive politicians with opportunity to not only promote their anti–gun ownership measures, but also to take potshots at political opponents. Every shooting allows these groups to display their moral outrage as well as their moral superiority over the Great Unwashed who refuse to surrender their legally purchased firearms, as well as politicians who favor gun ownership.

In short, mass shootings, despite being horrific incidents, benefit progressive politicians and their media allies. For starters, they allow progressives to indulge in cost-free virtue signaling. The mainstream media is unanimous in its support for gun control measures, the more stringent the better, and even a clearly grandstanding ban. Beto O'Rourke will receive the finest possible press and will be portrayed as a righteous, indignant private citizen simply advocating for small children who are put in grave peril by gun owners. Second, it's critical to remember progressive political goals, which includes knowing what progressive politicians and the media aim to accomplish. Declaring support for strict gun control measures conveys the message to others that you are not just horrified and angry, but also motivated to do something to stop the slaughter. The fact that the proposed steps will not prevent a single shooting is unimportant; what matters is the demonstration of morality.

Take, for example, President Joe Biden's statement to the Uvalde shooting, in which he professed to be fed up with the deaths and vowed to "do something." The Associated Press' Zeke Miller and Chris Megerian reported:

It was much too early to tell if the latest violent outbreak could break the political logjam around tightening the nation’s gun laws, after so many others—including the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 26, including 20 children—have failed.

“The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong,” Biden said. He has previously called for a ban on assault-style weapons, as well as tougher federal background check requirements and “red flag” laws that are meant to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental health problems.

Late Tuesday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer set in motion possible action on two House-passed bills to expand federally required background checks for gun purchases, but no votes have been scheduled.

Biden, Schumer, and most likely the journalists who wrote this report are all aware that the proposed legislation would almost certainly not prevent someone from targeting children at a school. Nonetheless, they all convey this information as though readers will naturally realize that if this proposed reform is passed, mass shootings will cease to exist.

No one in Congress, the White House, or the media makes those causal linkages publicly, but these legislative proposals are presented as the proper reaction to a major massacre, implying that they would operate just as marketed. It is unimportant whether or not these precautions would prevent a single shooting. What matters politically is what and how the mainstream media chooses to communicate to the reading and listening audience. Furthermore, anyone who challenges the effectiveness of these measures is painted as someone who wants people to die in mass shootings by the progressive media.

That is why politicians who support private gun ownership will never get good coverage after a major massacre unless they play the part of the "maverick" Republican asking for additional gun control measures, like John McCain did. (While it's doubtful that the "mavericks" believe their newfound rhetoric, they do know how to obtain nice coverage for a while.) Progressives believe that only state-approved agents should be allowed to possess firearms, and that each new gun control law is a positive step toward the ultimate objective of gun confiscation.

It's important to remember that in the age of politicized progressive media, the optics of something are all that matters. Facts are irrelevant; even the truth is irrelevant; only produced appearances are important. In a recent New York Times piece, Paul Krugman went even further, suggesting that the mass murder in Buffalo was the ultimate result of the Ronald Reagan administration's 1981 tax cuts. (Reading the paper is required to decipher Krugman's rationale, but it reveals modern progressive attitude.)

This is how a politicized world appears, a world of huge lies, with the bigger the falsehood, the more powerful it is. This is a world where there are no answers, only new problems.

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