Top Five Bullshits The Right Is Trying To Distract You Away From IT'S THE GUNS.
If nothing else, mass shootings and school shootings always bring out the creative side of America's worst human beings. Whether they're desperate for the shooter to not be a white supremacist (for fear it would make other white supremacists look bad, because they look so good and normal otherwise) or for the usual reason that they just really, really don't want gun control. They want it to be about literally anything else. Ideally, they'd especially like it to be about a thing they are mad about so that they can blame it on the Left. Because for them, it's not about actually preventing these massacres or making people safer, it's about who gets the political points.
To be fair, they also claim to believe that this is what we are doing. They believe the reason we look at mass shootings and say, "Wow, seems like we should perhaps be more careful about who gets guns and perhaps not sell guns that make it super easy to kill a whole bunch of people within a very short span of time" is not because this is the most obvious and logical conclusion to reach, but because it is part of our long game to take their guns and do tyranny to them. Granted, these are people who also really love Augusto Pinochet,Vladimir Putin, and Viktor Orbán so it's not totally clear what they imagine "tyranny" is. It's certainly not forcing everyone to adhere to one's own religion or forcing them to give birth against their will or forcing them to conform to what you believe their gender identity or sexual orientation should be, because those are things they would enjoy. I'd say it's "everyone having health care" but Russia and Hungary both, technically, have universal, publicly funded health care and even Pinochet couldn't totally get rid of FONASA (Chile's public healthcare program). It's honestly hard to tell!
So in order to keep people from turning to that very logical conclusion, they have come up with umpteen entirely unreasonable conclusions in hopes of distracting us. Let's take a look at some of the gems we've seen this go-round.
1. Ted Cruz's School Door Control
Sure! We could discuss how to prevent AR-15 style weapons from getting into the hands of 18-year-olds who might shoot up an elementary school, but what if, instead of that we talked about how there are just too many doors at elementary schools. Hmm?
Ted Cruz thinks that instead of having many exit doors at schools, there should be just one door to get in and out of the school, and armed guards at that door. He proposed this swell idea several times yesterday, with the righteous tone of someone really trying to do something to safeguard children.
\u201cSen. Ted Cruz at Robb Elementary school today. Sharing his thoughts on the shooting\u201d— Simone De Alba (@Simone De Alba) 1653518192
Do you wanna talk about how we could have prevented the horror that played out across the street? Look, the killer entered here the same way the killer entered in Santa Fe. Through a back door. An unlocked back door.
I sat down at roundtables with families from Santa Fe. We talked about what we need to do to harden schools, including not having unlocked back doors, including not having unlocked doors to classrooms, having one door that goes in and out of the school and having armed police officers at that one door.
Sure! OK! So instead of being killed by mass shooters, kids can be killed like a bunch of immigrant seamstresses in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. What a great plan. And, as a bonus, you can't blame an arson on guns ... well, unless the fire caused by shooting a firearm that had been turned into a machine gun, in which case you can absolutely do that.
Also, the school was already "hardened." A lot. The problem is guns.
2. Mental Health!
This one has become a surprisingly popular go-to for people who don't believe in publicly funded universal health care of any kind.
Indeed, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, denying that gun control could have done anything to prevent the shooting, explained during a press conference that "Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge" and said that "We as a state, we as a society, need to do a better job with mental health."
Clearly this was not at the top of his mind when he cut $211 million from mental health programs.
Also, as Lori Post, director of the Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics at the Northwestern University School of Medicine told NBC News, most of these shooters don't actually have a diagnosable mental health issue.
“There is no evidence the shooter is mentally ill, just angry and hateful,” she explained. “While it is understandable that most people cannot fathom slaughtering small children and want to attribute it to mental health, it is very rare for a mass shooter to have a diagnosed mental health condition.”
This is not to say that these people might not have benefited from mental health treatment — no one has to have a diagnosis to benefit from therapy — but rather that there is a reason these shooters are not being found guilty by reason of insanity or mental defect. There is no mental health issue that causes people to become mass shooters and it is entirely possible to be perfectly "sane" and commit atrocities.
That being said — yes! More funding for mental health care is also necessary and would be great. Try doing that before trotting this out at the next mass shooting.
3. Trans people! Can it PLEASE be trans people?!?! Or fat women, we would take that also!
Candace Owens was overjoyed yesterday to announce that she had seen pictures of Salvador Ramos "cross dressing," which she then determined was solid proof that the thing that causes mass shootings is allowing trans kids to be themselves. Alas, these were in fact just pictures of random trans people that had been circulating around 4chan.
"What’s drives an 18 year old to murder innocent children? I don’t know," Owens tweeted, "But judging by the photos of him cross-dressing, we can assume there were plenty of signs that he was mentally disturbed and abused by adults in his life. Societal cowardice ignored those plenty of signs."
Multiple people pointed out to Owens that the pictures going around had already been proven to be of someone else, so she then insisted that she wasn't talking about those pictures, but other pictures that she — and only she — saw.
Following this, she tweeted out pictures of a pregnant trans man and a fat woman working out, declaring that these things were the root cause of mass shootings.
"Everybody is always in search of a 'root cause' after an unspeakable tragedy takes place when the root cause is all around us. Our society is sick." she tweeted, "Refuse to acknowledge mental illness when it so evidently surrounds you? Congrats. You are a part of the root cause."
First of all, you can't just go around saying things you don't like are "mental illness." Even if we were talking about actual mental health issues here, it is entirely unclear how that would be helpful. Like does she want us all to go around and yell at people for having depression or anxiety? Should we bully people out of having schizophrenia? Is that how dealing with mental health works for Candace Owens?
Given that Owens is clearly doubling down on this theory, it seems worthwhile to note that we have had mass shootings for far longer than we have had trans acceptance or body acceptance. Hell, we had many mass shootings during the years when it was considered rude for a woman over a size 2 to sing at a chili cook-off, during the years of celebrated thigh gaps and skeletal Olsen twins. And the fact is, unlike being trans or not displaying what Candace Owens determines to be the appropriate amount of shame over what one's body looks like, anorexia and bulimia are, in fact, mental health issues.
Also, while we can't be sure how many school shootings have been prevented by bullying people for not fitting in or living up to one's personal standards, we can probably safely assume it is "zero."
4. Not enough armed guards in schools!
This is always a big one. Because, of course, it's better if the problem is "not enough" guns rather than "too many."
"We put armed guards in banks, and jewelry stores, our politicians have armed guards, why on earth wouldn't we make sure our schools are protected as well?" former sports person Curt Schilling asked on Twitter. "Politicians and money more important? I can't fathom the pain involved here. Left making this about 2A in 3...2...1..."
First thing — the shooter was confronted by multiple armed officers, none of whom was able to stop him. Second thing — we're not making this about the Second Amendment. This has nothing at all to do with militias or standing armies, which by the way is what the Second Amendment is about. This is about not even being able to have the amount of gun control actually supported by "the founders," both before and after the Constitution was written. Multiple states had post-Second Amendment bans on public carry and concealed carry, and other 18th century American gun regulation laws included "statutes providing for the confiscation of firearms from persons unwilling to take an oath of allegiance to the state, statutes regulating the use of firearms within the context of militia obligations, and statutes regulating the storage of gunpowder. A smaller number of laws also regulated hunting and the discharge of firearms in certain places."
That whole "oath of allegiance" thing really puts a bit of a dent in the "They wanted us to be able to overthrow the government, because that is definitely legal!" theory.
5. You can also kill people with trucks!
This is a big one, especially because the Right believes that there was an evil media conspiracy to ignore the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack because it was committed by a Black man in a truck. Specifically they were sad that this did not start a national conversation on how it's bad to want to kill white people, as has happened when mass murderers are white supremacists whose manifestos bear a startling similarity to Tucker Carlson's daily rants. One might say this is perhaps because the former is not a mainstream belief promoted by a major news network, or perhaps even because there was literally no one trying to defend the attack or the killer's belief system in any way.
That being said, it's really not super clear how the fact that it is humanly possible to kill people with things other than guns should mean that guns should not be regulated in any other way. At least cars have a purpose beyond killing people, and we keep pushing towards innovations, like automatic emergency brakes, to make cars safer — just one of the reasons why more kids were killed by guns last year than by car accidents.
These are, of course, far from the only examples of "anything but the guns!" nonsense the Right has come out with this time and will come out with next time. And as important as it is to shoot them down, because of how they are stupid, it's equally important to not let them take over the conversation.
As much as these douchenozzles try to make things about armed guards or not enough guns or too many doors or people Candace Owens doesn't personally care for being allowed to exist, it's still clear to most people that the actual problem is guns. We can all look at other countries and see that with just a small amount of regulation, they barely have any mass shootings at all. It's clear that there is some correlation the Second Amendment crowd thinks that if they can yell about stupid things loud enough, no one will notice that. It does not seem to be working.
Eighty-eight percent of Americans support background checks on all gun purchases. Seventy-five percent of Americans support a national database of gun purchases and 67 percent support a ban on assault weapons. These are all literal supermajorities — like the kind you'd need in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. There's not even a question. No one wants their kids, or any other kids for that matter, to be the suppliers of the blood that waters anyone's special tree of liberty. Perhaps they can use some of their own bullshit instead.
Wonkette is independent and fully funded by readers like you. Click below to tip us!
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse