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When it Comes to Shootings, the Party of Life Becomes the Party of “Meh”

The Republican response to another mass shooting has been as expected: an outrage for which no amount of apologies could suffice. As always, when actual people rather than zygotes die, the so-called Party of Life turns into the Party of “Meh.” Unless the dead are politically useful, Jeb Bush’s “stuff happens” seems to be the party mantra.

Larry Pratt’s Prattle

And their responses are just as distant from reality as their utterances on most other issues. Take Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, who appeared on Armed America Radio with Mark Walters to talk about President Obama’s response to the Umpqua Community College shooting (and what country other than America would even have a “Armed” anything radio?).

The two men concluded that Obama’s emotional response was not to the loss of life but to his inability to take away peoples’ guns:

Mark Walters: When I saw Barack Obama’s speech after Oregon, there was no doubt in my mind that he was in fact shaken up, he was in fact angry and he believed what he said, but not for the reasons that Americans think, Larry. He’s only upset and ticked off that he can’t get anybody’s guns because of that pesky parchment paper. If he was in fact concerned about crime, he’d be having the same conversation on the bully pulpit every day regarding Chicago’s numbers. They need us to complete their agenda, they need to disarm America, they can’t do it. Isn’t that what’s really got him fired up?

Larry Pratt: I think you’re right, and certainly he doesn’t react the way a lot of people were reacting, I think. They were definitely remorseful, they were saddened, they were horrified at what had happened and, as you say, he was ticked that here’s a crisis that’s going to go to waste.

Ultimately, their response says far more about their own state of mind than the president’s, and it’s not a pretty picture.

Guandolo’s Guano-riffic Theorem

And then there is John Guandolo, FBI agent turned conspiracy theorist, who, as Right Wing Watch reports, has “recently shared the stage with number of Republican presidential candidates at an event hosted by Frank Gaffney.” Guandolo of course blamed President Obama (who else?) for last week’s mass shooting at an Oregon community college.

According to Guandolo, for whom the obvious is apparently a conspiracy theory, “this administration has provided very fertile ground for such people because of his anti-Christian rhetoric, his pro-progressive-left socialist, Marxist, revolutionary ideology, his pro-jihadi ideology, his anti-police policies and actions and the Department of Justice and attorney general who support these.”

I think this is a much more reasonable answer to why this happened than the fact that we have too many guns, which is what the president immediately came out and said.

Right. A bunch of made-up stuff is a more likely reason for shootings than the fact that guns are so easy to obtain. Only a Republican could explain facts to us in a way that has nothing at all to do with actual facts. If you want more Guano-riffic thinking, see the disgraced agent’s blog.

Randian Perversions

Rand Paul’s presidential campaign is moribund as a result of a lack of any original thinking whatsoever, and it shows when he suggests that “people are going to places where guns are prohibited”:

So when you have a gun-free zone at a school, it’s like an invitation, if you are crazy and want to shoot people, that’s where you go. I would do the opposite. I would have and encourage every school in American put stickers on every window going into the school saying, ‘We are armed. Come in at your own peril. We have concealed carry for teachers who have it and we also have armed security and you will be shot.'”

Of course, as it happens, the site of the Umpqua Community College shooting was not “gun free zone”, despite the claims of Paul, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, and Carly Fiorina, among others.

It’s just that the people with guns didn’t do what conservative insist they will automatically do, which is shoot shooters before they can shoot people.

The advice of people as appallingly out of touch with reality as Rand Paul must be automatically suspect. And since many of these shooters tend to end their rampage with self-inflicted gunshots (as indeed happened at Umpqua Community College), it is hardly likely the threat of being shot will turn them away.

Paul’s conclusion is that we need more Christians with more guns:

I do think that we have generalized problems in our country that may somehow influence, I’m not sure they’re the answer, but I think that we lack a certain belief in right and wrong, a certain Christian foundation or religious foundation to our country anymore, and I think some of this perversion is coming from that. But also there’s some things that are just inexplicable, that’s just mental illness, they’re not getting better with treatment and they’re not going to get necessarily better with religious influence as well.

Because Christianity and weapons has always been an antidote to violence. You know, like these wars, listed in Wikipedia (and forgetting the centuries of crusades leading up to this, including Spain’s Reconquista and subsequent Spanish wars against the Aztecs and Incas), the ones that led to the Founding Father’s inclusion of a no religious test clause and the First Amendment:

Conflicts immediately connected with the Reformation of the 1520s to 1540s:

  • The German Peasants’ War (1524-1525)
  • The battle of Kappel in Switzerland (1531)
  • The Schmalkaldic War (1546-1547) in the Holy Roman Empire
  • The Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648) in the Low Countries
  • The French Wars of Religion (1562-1598)
  • The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), affecting the Holy Roman Empire including Habsburg Austria and Bohemia, France, Denmark and Sweden
  • The Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639-1651), affecting England, Scotland and Ireland
  • Scottish Reformation and Civil Wars
  • English Reformation and Civil War
  • Irish Confederate Wars and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland

To this we could add others, including Bush’s crusade against Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, and the further crusading so many Republicans desire against Syria, the Islamic State, and Iran.

Yes, nothing like guns and Bibles and clergy to lead the way, shouting “Deus Vult!” “God Wills it!” to put all our hearts and minds at ease.

Photo: Nation of Change with text added by Hrafnkell Haraldsson.

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