You Cowards

senate-gun-hearingIn this country we seem to be completely incapable of having any sort of rational debate about our rampant gun violence. Any time the subject is brought up most people just “go to their corners” and start defending “their side,” often just regurgitating talking points that don’t even make any sense.

While Democrats aren’t completely innocent in all of this, it’s clear that the Republican party is the biggest reason why we’re not doing anything to address the 8-10k lives lost every year at the hands of gun violence. We see more mass shootings in the United States than any other country in the world, and we’re not doing a damn thing about it.

Again, let me repeat that: We are not doing anything about any of this at the federal level.

Why is that? Well, if you ask me, it’s because Republicans are cowards. The party has sold its soul to the NRA, embraced radical gun fanatics and simply doesn’t have the courage to tell these folks, “Look, we’ve been wrong about guns – we have to do something.”

Not only that, but whenever these mass slaughters happen, their reaction is typically a call for more guns. These are the folks who think a return to the Wild West where everyone carried a gun around with them at all times is the “solution” for ridding ourselves of gun violence. Last time I checked, the Wild West wasn’t exactly peaceful or sparsely impacted by gun violence.

It’s completely ridiculous.

Then there’s another popular line often uttered by Republicans: Guns have nothing to do with gun violence – mental illness is the problem.

Fine, for the sake of argument, let’s assume guns have nothing to do with gun violence. What are Republicans doing to ensure mentally ill people don’t gain access to guns?

I’ll go ahead and answer that question for everyone: Nothing

The truth is, everything Republicans support only makes it easier for mentally ill people to obtain guns – not more difficult.

Think about how absolutely asinine all of this is. We have a major political party in this country that:

  • Claims guns have nothing to do with gun violence.
  • Completely blames gun violence on mental illness.
  • Says more guns are needed to curb gun violence.
  • Despite blaming mental illness, supports policies that make it easier for mentally ill people to get weapons on top of supporting funding cuts to programs which support mental health.

To summarize, Republicans claim mental illness is what causes gun violence, but their “solution” to this epidemic is to support policies that make it easier for mentally ill people to obtain guns while making it more difficult for them to get needed treatment.

If you’re saying to yourself, “Wait, that doesn’t make sense” – you’re right, it doesn’t.

That brings me back to the cowardly nature of Republicans. The GOP will never collectively do anything to address gun violence because they pander to gun nuts who freak out at any mention of any regulations on guns.

Then when it comes to the NRA, the GOP will never say no to the mountains of money the lobbying group throws at their candidates. At this point in our society, the NRA is basically just an un-elected branch of our government. No matter what the majority Americans want, even if it’s something as sensible as universal background checks on all gun purchases, if the NRA opposes it – the GOP will never support it.

As long as we continue to have one of our two major political parties refusing to do anything to address gun violence – aside from parroting the ludicrous belief that more guns are the answer – it’s time we all realize the harsh reality that mass shootings are now simply the new “normal” in this country. We should all be ashamed. 

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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