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Mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton killed 29 Americans and injured scores more this weekend, and the Party Of Guns responded with a single voice: It's not the guns. It's never the guns. What it actually is varied, but rest assured, there are no problems at all with the ready availability of near military-grade weapons originally designed as bullet hoses, because there's always something else to blame. Probably Antifa! Or maybe abortion.


Republicans reactions to the shootings followed a familiar script: Thoughts and prayers, such a shame, mental health, and please don't politicize this tragedy. A few GOP officials got creative, like Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who went on Fox & Friends, reached into a time warp, and dragged out video games and school prayer as the real cause of mass shootings, because that's just logic.

What's changed in this country? We've always had guns. We've always had evil. But what's changed where we see this rash of shootings? And I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill.

Patrick also explained that the El Paso shooting appeared to be a "hate crime" that targeted immigrants, but since the shooter's alleged manifesto also mentioned the environment and robots taking all the jobs, it was obviously not a Republican or Democratic kind of crime. Then he added several other reasons for mass murder, like maybe "the violence of bullying people on social media every day," the fact that "we won't let our kids even pray in our schools," and the disgraceful fact that we "no longer salute our flag" in US America and such as.

This is a familiar shtick for Patrick, who after last year's school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, also blamed video games, violent movies, the "breakup of families," and abortion. He briefly suggested ending state economic incentives to entertainment companies as a way of ending school shootings.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also on Fox News, jumped on the video game bandwagon, because all this rudeness is deadly:

The idea these video games -- to dehumanize individuals, to have a game of shooting individuals and others -- I've always felt that is a problem for future generations and others [...] We've watched from studies shown before of what it does to individuals. When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others.

In his teleprompter speech this morning, Donald Trump also pointed to "gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace," and also to the "culture" of violence in entertainment. Somehow, he forgot to mention gun culture.

And then there were state officials, like Ohio state Rep. Candice Keller, who knows exactly who's to blame for mass shootings: The kitchen sink did it.

Once we eliminate all those, we can stockpile our guns in peace. How the hell did she leave out abortion?

Other Republicans decided it must be mental illness to blame in both shootings, although the El Paso attack seems quite deliberately planned. Sen. Rob Portman explained there's just no making sense of these slaughters by people armed with semiautomatic rifles equipped with high-capacity magazines.

Look at the mental health crisis in our country today, there aren't enough laws and, in fact, no law can correct some of the more fundamental cultural problems we face today as a country and the shooting last night is an indication of that.

Lindsey Graham, Donald Trump, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also talked about "mental health," although a lot of folks on Twitter remembered Abbott had complained a few years ago that Texas was only the second-biggest purchaser of firearms:

Some Republicans actually noticed that the El Paso shooter allegedly wrote a screed blaming immigrants for ruining America, and saying he would go kill some Hispanics. Ted Cruz managed to release a statement condemning the "hateful anti-Hispanic bigotry" in the online rant, but somehow failed to mention the rhetoric of "invasion" and "replacement" the shooter tapped into, because that call is coming from inside the White House.

And it's even looking like some Republicans are willing to condemn white nationalism, at least when it's not their president spreading it. Jeb Bush's son, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, condemned "white terrorism":

Similarly, Rep Jim Banks (R-Indiana), condemned "White Supremacist Terrorism":

Former Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who's now in the US Senate, was probably the biggest name to condemn white nationalism, although of course he didn't mention any particular presidents who worry about all the invaders infesting our country.

The most important thing, according to White House WhateverTheHellSheDoesThere Kellyanne Conway, is that we come together and not point fingers, possibly because that looks like a gun and haven't we suffered enough?

How true this is. We must eradicate hate, and to accomplish that, we must not call out any hateful comments by the racist in chief who laughs about shooting immigrants, regularly holds white supremacist rallies where he whips up hatred of invaders who are all monsters, and encourages chants about sending back disloyal brown ladies who don't love America right. He's never actually called for anyone specifically to be killed, you see, so he's completely blameless.

[Guardian / Vox / Buzzfeed / WaPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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