5 Questions Republicans and Other Gun Nuts Must Answer About Mass Shootings

guninconvenienceOver the last few days I’ve been inundated with asinine gun nuts regurgitating their normal pro-gun propaganda. Sadly, I’ve become used to these asinine comments because this sort of idiocy always follows mass shootings – which are now becoming routine in the United States.

But no matter how many times I’m exposed to the idiocy of those who believe guns have nothing to do with gun violence, it still never ceases to amaze me. Typically I don’t engage with these folks, but I thought I’d ask five questions I think Republicans and gun nuts need to answer to address the now-routine mass shootings we experience in this country.

The “status-quo” clearly isn’t working.

1. Since Republicans are convinced the gun debate boils down to mental illness being responsible for these shootings (an irresponsible position of course; mental illness is not the only factor), how many mass shootings need to happen before the Republican party unites behind a strong push for legislation that makes it more difficult for mentally ill people to obtain guns?

2. Being that Umpqua Community College allowed students with concealed handgun licenses to have guns on campus, yet no one with their concealed handgun prevented (or apparently deterred) this shooting from happening – doesn’t this once again debunk the whole notion that guns deter gun violence?

3. Considering we have over 300 million guns in this country (more than any other modern nation on the planet) how many do we need before gun violence and mass shootings are no longer an issue in the United States?

4. Since most of the states that lead the country in gun violence are very pro-gun, doesn’t that suggest that more guns isn’t the solution to gun violence?

5. If guns have nothing to do with gun violence, would you then support the legal right for Americans to own much more dangerous weapons like backpacked-sized nuclear weapons or rocket-propelled grenades? Where does the “right to bear arms” end, since you’re so convinced “guns have nothing to do with gun violence”?

Also, since we don’t have rampant violence related to nuclear weapons or RPG’s – because neither are easily obtainable – doesn’t that show that the level of access to a particular weapon plays a huge part in the ability for people to carry out horrific acts of violence?

Will I get answers to these questions? I’m sure some will try, but I need to point out that there’s a huge difference between answering questions in a rational way and simply providing answers that don’t make a damn bit of sense. The sad truth is, you can’t ask irrational people rational questions.

Until Republicans stop cowardly bowing down to the NRA and radical gun fanatics, we’ll never be able to have a sensible debate on what we can do in this country to try to curb gun violence. And until that happens, mass shootings are now simply the new normal in this country.

But hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and let me know what you think.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • strayaway

    #4 The following population data is the official data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The gun murder rates were calculated based on the FBI reports and the official population of each state for 2010. -wikipedia

    The lowest gun homicide rates per 100,000 were in VT .3, NH .4. Hawaii, .5, ND .6, IA, .7, ID, ME, UT, .8 and WY .9
    The highest gun homicide rates per 100,000 were Washington, DC 16.5, LA 7.7, MO 5.4, MD 5.1. SC 4.5, MI 4.2, MS 4, FL 4, GA 3.9

    I don’t see a pattern of the lowest being Democratic gun control states and the highest being Republican Second Amendment states. What jumps out, however, is that Washington, DC has over twice the gun homicide rate of any state although it has about the strictest gun control laws. One is 53 times as likely to be murdered with a gun in Washington, DC as in Vermont. There must be another explanation than lack of gun control laws.

    • Dan

      Illegal guns are easily trafficked in from Virginia. The same thing happens to Chicago, gun nuts love to use Chicago as an example of how stricter laws don’t stop the violence, they won’t talk about the lax laws in Indiana and the easy connection to the city of Gary.

      To effect this situation, future more comprehensive gun laws should be Federal and enforced uniformly across the country.

      • strayaway

        The federal government already has comprehensive gun control laws in Washington, D.C.. Are you are saying that Washington D.C.’s gun control laws don’t work or are you saying that places like Vermont and New Hampshire are so far away from places like Indiana and Virginia that it is impossible to truck in guns to those places? If you are correct, why do Washington, DC and Chicago have higher rates of gun homicides than Virginia and Indiana?

      • Dan

        The federal government does NOT have comprehensive gun laws in place, and the few laws there are, have been rendered nearly useless by the constant flow of the gun lobby’s cash to weak politicians, and the weakening and elimination of state laws.

        Using Wikipedia numbers from nearly 6 years ago doesn’t come close to an accurate representation of today’s numbers, too many bad things have happened since 2010.

        Here’s just one, much more current analysis, http://www.nationaljournal.com/s/74221/return-middle-american-radical?mref=scroll

        If you take an honest look at the many more recent studies from all over the world, you’ll see that stronger gun laws result in fewer gun related deaths.

        Before you start to accuse me of being anti-gun, or anti-2nd amendment, understand that I am neither. I am pro-common sense. While I have never been a hunter and don’t see a need to own any guns, I support folks who want to hunt or sport shoot, and while in most cases, I don’t understand peoples paranoia and “need” to own guns for protection, I support their right to it. I do understand that having a gun in my home for “protection” would actually, dramatically increase the chance of injury or death of family or friends, or even myself because of that gun.

        You’re on the wrong side of this debate, you must know that you’re in the minority that oppose more comprehensive gun legislation. The majority that support legislation have been too quiet and lazy concerning this, I think you’re going to see that change. The consequences of unfettered access to both legal and illegal guns is becoming alarmingly obvious, those who support the status-quo or expansion of access are more and more, being seen as foolish or what they really are, paid by gun manufacturers to sell more guns.

        Things will change…….

      • strayaway

        The most recent possible annual statistics, if they were even available on January first, would have been 2014. The Wikipedia statistics, actually US Census information, was therefore no more than 4 years old rather than the 6 years you claimed. Gun homicide rates have also been on a steady decline so if you want to make the case that “a lot has happened since then, it might work against your thesis. Your article, interesting as it was, was not a refutation of the Census statistics.

        I think that the federal government should make its case for gun control when the federally administered District of Columbia’s gun homicide rates are superior to those of any state. Then states will scramble to replicate what works.

      • Dan

        Ignoring facts doesn’t change them, and at best you may have skimmed over the article looking only for things that might support your ill-conceived notions. Do you know how to read charts? Can you cite a reputable source to support your claim of a steady decline in gun homicide rates?

        Unless you build a wall around DC, they will continue to be adversely effected by the lack of laws, or enforcement of current laws in surrounding areas.

        Go do some honest research, the information is available if you’re willing to accept it, more than likely, you’ll just cherry-pick bits that you can use to support your failed arguments. Whatever works for you…………….

      • strayaway

        Dan, Beause I realize that liberals want things handed to them, I looked up my “claim of a steady decline in gun homicide rates”.

        “Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew.” -pewsocialtrends

        I think that’s great news. 49% Dan! Time to take off your sanctimonious sackcloth and do a little rejoicing.

        One of your flaws in making excuses for DC is that whichever states guns come from have lower rates of gun homicides than DC and the gun traffic from wherever, doesn’t seem to have the same effect anywhere else. Please, please explain why the natives of gun export states are more responsible with guns than the highly regulated resident of Washington, D.C..

      • Dan

        Asking you to support your claims is not expecting to have things handed to me, that’s what Republicans do for rich people and corporations. If I accept those numbers, which I only do now for discussion purposes, I’m still not likely to be doing any rejoicing…….

        Now, about those numbers. This is not as simple as you would like it to be. A quick Google search shows a couple of pages of links with the same info, impressive until you see that they all refer to the same source, your Pew study. I’d be more impressed if there were several peer-reviewed studies to support those numbers, but there aren’t.

        What I did do was use data from the CDC for the last 12 years, combined with the Pew data going back to 1993, and as always when dealing with this issue, it gets more complicated. If you chart these numbers you see a dramatic decrease in the early 1990’s, and the numbers are virtually static over the remainder of the chart. That decrease appears to be a reversal of the huge increase in the 80’s associated with the crack cocaine epidemic. As crack and the people in the crack business went away, so did the violence associated with it.

        You should also keep in mind that any research in this area is flawed at best. Since the 1970’s, the NRA and the politicians they own have done everything they can to eliminate any research that would contradict their claims, the CDC has basically no funding for research anymore, and most all other reporting is done on a voluntary basis by local law-enforcement which allows all sorts of political and personal agendas to influence the numbers.

        The NRA’s interference in the research concerning gun safety may become their down-fall, because there has been no good, reliable research done in many years this issue is driven by emotions and perceptions. If you look around right now, depending on the wording, polls show anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of Americans want to see changes in gun laws. Thing that neither you or other gun-people like are going to start happening, changes will be made…….

        For that I will rejoice!

      • strayaway

        You questioned my comment. I provided the Pew Study. You lose.

      • Dan

        Huh? I lose what?

    • Creeayshun Sighuntist

      Why are Republican presidential debates and NRA conventions “gun free zones”? But somehow schools can’t be? Oh the irony….

      • strayaway

        Good point but how does it relate to blue and red states not directly correlating to relative gun murder rates?

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        I am just posing the question, and one that should be asked at the next GOP debate.

        Why don’t we do a correlation on 1st world countries with the strictest gun laws and their homicide rates, specifically by gun? I’d like to start there. Let’s try Japan first.

      • strayaway

        Fire away with the questions. We still have free speech. I would note though that some states have lower gun homicide rates than some European countries. While you are at it, ask the candidates about the relationship between other crimes and gun ownership in, for instance, England and Scotland vs. The US. I think getting rid of guns would be a boon to wall builders, gated communities, and moving employment and middle class people as far away from our central cities as they can go. The only people who should have guns are security personnel protecting politicians (even Democrats) right?

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        Some states have EXTREMELY low populations as well…are those the states you are referring to? AK, WY, MT, ND, SD, etc…..very few people live there. Are these the ones you are talking about? No real city to be found anywhere? Please tell me this isn’t what you are referring to…..

        I’m still waiting for your correlation of Japan’s homicide rate by gun vs # of guns per capita. Thanks in advance.

      • strayaway

        As my link stated, all states and the District of Columbia were measured in gun homicides per 100,000 population so their total populations are irrelevant to rates. There are cities like Honolulu, Des Moines, and Salt Lake City included. Maybe you should be asking what is the difference between those cities and, for instance, Gary or Flint. The District of Columbia doesn’t have many people compared with some of those states either yet has over twice the gun homicide rate of any state. I attribute Japan’s civility, and it extends to low theft, burglary, mugging and rape rates too, to its culture. Your turn. How do you propose that we get the residents of, say, Washington, D.C. to adopt Japanese culture? Washington, D.C. also has among the strictest gun control laws in the Country but has the highest rates of gun homicides.