Since the dawn of conservatism, the one belief that’s been a constant is their staunch anti-government stance. This nation fought a Civil War because southern conservatives believed that their states had the right to own human beings as property. These Confederate states seceded from the United States over what they claimed was an “illegal” push by the federal government to end slavery and grant slaves their freedom.
And whether it’s been their opposition to women’s suffrage, desegregation, civil rights, interracial marriage, gay rights or women’s rights, these same states, supported by conservative ideology, have held the constant belief that the government is bad and our Tenth Amendment (states’ rights) matters more than federal law.
When it comes to guns, most conservatives are very anti-government regulation. In fact, if it were left up to most conservatives, we would have little or no regulations on guns. After all, according to many of these people, the reason why gun violence is such an issue in this country is because we need more guns.
Apparently over 300 million guns aren’t enough.
Any time there’s any mention from anyone at the federal level that we need sensible gun reform (universal background checks, limits on magazine size, the banning of certain kinds of military-style semi-automatic rifles) conservatives and their NRA brethren go berserk. Perhaps their most famous line is the one that makes absolutely no sense – “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” The theory behind that seems to be that once a “bad guy” shoots someone with a gun, then the “good guy” can stop them. This rarely ever happens of course, nor does it help the first victim claimed by the shooter, but why let facts or reality stand in the way of some good old fashioned right-wing gun-loving propaganda?
But when it comes to guns, and the 8-10k American lives lost every year due to gun related homicides, conservatives don’t want the government anywhere near this issue.
However, have 4 people within the United States get diagnosed with the Ebola virus (with only one death among the four), and suddenly many of these same anti-government conservatives can’t get enough of the federal government. In fact, not only can they not get enough of the federal government, they’re wanting the government to do more to regulate travel.
Who would have ever thought, conservatives feverishly pushing for the government to implement more regulations.
Between 8-10k Americans die every year due to gun violence, but we shouldn’t do anything to try to regulate guns. Four people get diagnosed with Ebola and all hell breaks loose.
But here’s a fun fact: Every single American – every single one of us – is more likely to be killed by a handgun today than to catch Ebola. In fact, around 25 people die every single day from gun related homicides.
Look at the right-wing panic following four cases of Ebola (with only one death). Now imagine if 25 Americans per day were dying from Ebola. And with over 300 million guns in this country, don’t even tell me we have a “lack of guns” problem that’s allowing gun violence to run rampant.
Now, are these two situations exactly the same? No. They’re two different threats. One is actually killing 25 Americans every day, whereas the other is a disease that’s typically very hard to transmit unless you’ve been in direct contact with the infected bodily fluids of someone showing signs of having the virus.
Though what I’m trying to do is point to a glaring hypocrisy from the right. They claim the government is worthless and too regulatory – until it’s something they want the government to regulate. Then suddenly they’re big fans of the federal government. Take same-sex marriage for example. Conservatives would love a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage.
And while it’s rational to be cautious about Ebola, the outrageous and irrational fear-mongering being pushed by many conservatives is laughable. But again, between Ebola and gun violence, which one will claim more American lives today?
In fact, if you look at the over 4k people who’ve died from Ebola in Africa, that’s about on par with how many Americans have died since March (when this outbreak began) from gun violence.
And we won’t even get into heart disease or cancer, which kill over 1 million Americans every year. Two problems that could be greatly reduced if every American had access to health care – another issue conservatives vehemently oppose.
Just imagine how much greater this country could be if we didn’t have to constantly deal with Republican ignorance and propaganda.