Over the weekend, within a 24-hour window of time, more than 30 innocent Americans were gunned down in a pair of violent shooting attacks that have become all too common in the United States of America.
But this tragedy has been compounded over the last couple days as Donald Trump and his Republican shills in Congress wheel out the same stale talking points they use after every mass shooting – all of them designed to keep us from having a serious discussion about commonsense solutions to gun violence.
The most popular Republican argument following the weekend of bloodshed is that the root causes of gun violence in the U.S. are mental illness and video games.
In a bumbling address on Monday – days after the first shot was fired in El Paso – Trump deployed these NRA talking points, hoping to convince Americans that guns have nothing to do with the carnage we saw over the weekend.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” the president said, echoing House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s comments over the weekend. “This includes the gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace.”
“Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger. Not the gun,” Trump added.
Breaking news: The U.S. isn’t the only country with mental illness or video games
Republicans love to make the lazy argument that video games and mental illness – not guns – are the root cause of this American carnage, but they forget one thing: The United States isn’t the only country in the world with those two things.
People in countries all over the world suffer from mental conditions. Believe it or not, video game playing stretches beyond America’s borders as well.
What is unique to America is the obscene number of guns and the ease with which anyone with a hit list and violent urge can obtain them. That’s the difference.
To the minority of the country that fetishizes guns and believes mass murder on American streets is just the price of freedom, these are convenient arguments to lean on. But they crumble upon casual inspection.
Guns are the problem – full stop.
How stupid do Republicans think the American people are?
Republicans react to every mass shooting – from Sandy Hook to Las Vegas to El Paso, and every single one in between – with a hearty helping of inaction, so it’s no surprise that their response to El Paso and Dayton appears to be similar.
What is increasingly shocking is how stupid they think the American people are.
How many more shootings have to happen in the most gun-friendly places in the country before they realize that the vast majority of the country has long since seen through the ridiculous NRA-Republican claim that more guns make us safer?
In the United States, we have more guns than people. If Republicans were right, we’d be the safest country in the world. Instead, we have this:
# of mass shootings per country in the calendar year 2019, including today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas
Today is the 215th day of 2019#BanAssaultWeapons
— Stone 🥶 (@stonecold2050) August 3, 2019
All year round, Republicans take NRA cash and when another preventable tragedy strikes an American community, they do nothing but offer the same debunked arguments and empty prayers.
It’s time for them to join the rest of the country in dealing with this problem. If they’re unwilling to do that, they should find another line of work.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.