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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  • I just had a lengthy argument with someone who’s position was “we don’t need more gun laws because it won’t stop criminals”. When asked about abortion laws, their answer was “well yeah I know it won’t stop all illegal abortions but it’ll reduce what’s already happening”.
    So I applied the same logic to new gun laws. All I got was “well yeah but criminals will still find a way”.
    They’re so far gone off the cliff.
    It’s true they only care about human life until birth.

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    • strayaway

      According to the CDC.GOV, “Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including nearly 42,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.” That’s about 48 times as many people as are killed in gun homicides every year.

      • katharynmary

        The numbers of smokers in the USA have steeply declined. Are you suggesting we cannot deal with this particular problem because we have others? Sophistry.

      • strayaway

        No, I’m suggesting hypocrisy. If this is all about unnecessary deaths, one would think that significantly larger causes of unnecessary deaths would also be addressed. Here we have a president who bombed seven countries including helping overthrow Khaddafi without the consent of Congress giving us a bs speech about “common sense”; more blatant hypocrisy – a president in charge of the federally administered District of Columbia. DC’s gun homicides rate is 53 times those of Vermont’s even though Vermont has higher gun ownership and DC probably has stricter gun control laws. Is the federal example what you want for the nation? Why doesn’t the president clean up his own larger mess first?

      • Nancy B

        There is no hypocrisy here. Just deflection. State and Feds have addressed cigarette smoking, and as the previous poster said, the number of smokers has declined. The death rate will also decline. But over time. Death from smoking isn’t immediate.

        As for DC, SCOTUS severely limited the very restrictions that would have had the most impact in curbing the illegal gun usage. Maybe you aren’t aware that there are no walls and checkpoints at the DC boundaries. So easy to get guns outside of DC in MD, PA and VA, and bring them in.

      • strayaway

        It looks like a solid case of hypocrisy to me whether or not you are able to discern the difference between 480,000 and 10,000. The number of gun homicides has declined 49%, even though the population has increased, since 1993. Even if the number of lung cancers has declined more than 49% because the feds have “addressed cigarette smoking, which you haven’t backed up, the fact remains that 48x as many Americans die from cigarettes as from gun homicides yet libs don’t seem to care. Why do the residents of “MD, PA and VA” have lower gun homicides than DC if that’s where all the guns are coming from? There is a hole in you theory if you can’t answer that.

      • Nancy B

        If you don’t know what’s been done on the cigarette issue, you’ve been living under a rock. Guess you didn’t hear about the tobacco settlement, high taxes, laws banning smoking in public places, educational campaigns, allowing insurance companies to charge higher premiums to smokers under Obamacare, and all that. I suppose you could ban cigarettes and have a more immediate effect. But, like banning guns, it wouldn’t work.

        Gun violence is cultural and environmental. DC is a small city, loaded with poverty. Most of the affluent live outside the city. MD, VA and PA are states. You’ll find plenty of violence in Alexandria and Arlington, VA, and Baltimore, MD. But the suburbs around it are affluent. Does that give you a clue to help fill in the hole?

      • strayaway

        So you’re saying that after doing all these things (no statistics of results provided) there are still 480,000 deaths annually from smoking cigarettes and obsess about 10,000 annual gun homicides. Talk about deflection. Like with all the gun control regulations in Washington, D.C., these regulations have fallen short of expectations. Yet, the answer to gun homicides is to have more hoops to jump through and more restrictions just like in Washington, D.C..

        Before you claimed the problem in DC was that guns still come from other states. You didn’t answer why gun homicide rates weren’t higher in those other states. Now, you are suggesting that black culture and poverty are responsible for high gun homicide rates in DC and Baltimore. To test whether black culture and poverty are at the base of high US gun homicide rates, statistics for both black and economic factors are readily available. What, for instance, is the gun homicide rate in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which is almost all white and poor. Such comparisons should address the poverty hypothesis. Let’s say that you are right about culture. Shouldn’t that culture be addressed before institution national gun control? Only the cancer need be radiated, not the entire body.

        Meanwhile, President Obama, bomber of seven countries, is on his way to Oregon to politicize a relatively rare mass killing of 9 (usually whites involved) while 60 mostly blacks were killed in gun homicides in Chicago just in the last month. Whatever happened to “black lives matter”? Apparently, that was last month’s cliche while almost 60, mostly blacks, were killed in Chicago under Obama’s radar.

      • noah vail

        spoken like a true Bagger…you’ve spent too much time listening to o’reilly

      • strayaway

        Spoken like a name calling idiot.

      • noah vail

        what a moron

      • strayaway

        Noah, is attaining new heights in his attempt to be considered an articulate poster.

    • Hugh Everett

      The Supreme Court has ruled that my right to protect my family with a gun is just as constitutionally protected as a democrat’s right to an abortion or a same-sex marriage.

      The objective of the left is to gradually, incrementally, and eventually outlaw the private ownership of firearms. This assertion is so obvious that honest democrats will admit the truth.

      Democrats will never gradually negotiate away a woman’s right to an abortion or a gay person’s right to equal protection under the law. So why should a gun owner be willing to gradually relinquish their rights?

      Any time you find yourself opposed to individual liberty, you’re definitely on the wrong side of the issue.

      • Is that the objective of the Democrats? I’m fairly certain that’s not their party line. Just the opinions of some on the fringe. It’s not mainstream. I know plenty of Dems with guns who will definitely fight for their right to keep them.
        All they want is to reduce the availability of guns to bad people.
        And don’t give me that “the only way to do that is complete confiscation” because we all know it’s BS.

      • Hugh Everett

        “Is that the objective of the Democrats? I’m fairly certain that’s not their party line.”

        It’s not the outspoken party line today, because it would result in electoral disaster for democrats in 2016. Similarly, same sex marriage or gays in the military would not have been the party line in 1992.But Democrat politicians and pundits constantly champion the murder rates in “civilized countries” that have outlawed gun ownership.Informed people recognize that four Supreme Court justices think the Second Amendment is limited to well-regulated militias.

      • I think you’re making quite an assumption there.
        Many of the countries brought up don’t have complete bans, some just have restrictions. And that doesn’t imply that because of those comparisons that the left wants a complete gun ban.

        A lot more people respect our Bill of Rights than you may think. It’s just the interpretation of “shall not be infringed” that has people at odds.
        What does that mean? Does that mean that every citizen, regardless of criminal history and mental state, should be allowed to bear arms? Of course not. Even most on the right believe that this needs to be regulated somewhat and not taken to the 100% literal meaning. The fighting is over the degree of regulation, and each side just assumes the extreme of the other.

        The left thinks that the right wants to give every citizen as many guns as they want and the right thinks that the left wants a complete ban of all guns – based on all the crap I see on facebook :). These assumptions make any kind of discussion completely unproductive.

  • noah vail

    how abouit ANY crime committed with a gun has a mandatory 25 year sentence, without
    parole, in prison above and beyond the original crime