The Bullshit They Feed Us

Once again, Paul Ryan and many Republican leaders say “now is not the time to jump to conclusions,” that now is not the time to even talk about gun control. Here’s a notable example from a conservative commentator:

This comes up a lot so it seems necessary to address it plainly. This is bullshit. For many reasons.

When something happens, we (in all other cases) address it. When 9/11 happened, the US Government moved quickly to tighten airport security. Then later when someone tried to hide a bomb in their shoe, they added that to the airport safety rules. To this day, we all have to take our shoes off because of one incident. The TSA even introduced newer, better body scanners.

Imagine if after the Challenger explosion, NASA said that now (and forever) is the time to grieve and not look into the problem and never addressed the faulty O-ring and it kept happening again and again. We’d think they were pretty stupid, right? By the way, I feel pretty comfortable assuming that NASA still grieved. Grief doesn’t vanish.

There is some truth that now is not the best time to talk about gun control. The best time to address it before a shooting. When you’re a parent you tell your kids to be careful at the top of the stairs and not to touch a hot stove before they do it.

So, “now’s not the time” because the shooting was Wednesday? How about for the shootings last year, how about Sandy Hook? It’s been over five years since that one? Still too soon? It would seem to anyone capable of thought that it’s not about “now’s not the time” it’s that you don’t ever want gun control. Somehow you think it sounds better to say it’s not the time than the truth. You know it’s a bad look to come out after yet another school shooting and say, “I’m never going to even talk about regulating guns because I don’t want anything to change.” So you peddle your bullshit. You must think we’re that stupid to buy the bullshit.

And it’s pretty depressing to look at that tweet and see 46,000 likes. Even if that’s inflated by fake accounts, it sure seems like there’s a good number of people not just buying the bullshit but peddling it themselves.

Also, great tactic by Tomi to blame “the Left.” My goodness. It’s the Left who’s the problem in this situation. They want less school shootings, they’re the real problem.

And then we get to the thoughts and prayers. How many actually sit down and think and pray for the victims and how many just tweet that they’re sending thoughts and prayers. Because if you actually sat down and sent thoughts and prayers, the next thing most people would think about is how to make sure this doesn’t happen to more families. Isn’t that just a natural part of the thoughts and prayers, may this never happen again? Wouldn’t the best way to honor these families, to do something?

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If it’s not “thoughts and prayers” or “now’s not the time”, the other talking point we get from them is this is about mental illness, not guns. These are not mutually exclusive. I haven’t met a single person that is against expanding care for mental illness.

Here’s a problem with that talking point: One of the first actions of the 115th Congress/Trump Administration was to elimination a regulation that was aimed at preventing the mentally ill from buying guns. One of the sponsors of the bill that eliminated the regulation gave us more bullshit.

Forgive me if I don’t believe that the party/administration that spent a bulk of 2017 trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act including Medicaid is actually concerned with improving mental health care. You just don’t want to talk about guns, so you think waving the “mental illness” flag will prevent that conversation.

I’ll call your bluff. Let’s improve mental health care. Let’s help the millions of Americans suffering from mental illness. Let’s also not let anyone with documented histories of violence or threats of violence to have guns. We can do both.

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Everything about this makes me incredibly angry. There will always be crime and suffering in this world. No one expects terrible events to go away completely. We just want less people to die. Less children, less churchgoers, less concertgoers, less mall shoppers to be shot and killed. For a start, I want something, anything to be done. For our leaders to collectively agree that this is a problem. That these killings are not acceptable. Instead, we are fed bullshit talking points and they hope we get distracted by something else before the next election. They’ll launch attack ads and talk about abortion or the wall or anything so that they don’t have to provide an answer to the most basic question: What are you going to do about the gun violence?

Because the answer is always nothing.

This is from Joe Scarborough in the Washington Post today:

These things are what the American people want. To get them, Americans will need to vote for people that want to do something. Our elected officials stand there and feed us bullshit. And every couple of years, we have a choice about who we want to lead us. There have now been 150,000 Americans who have lived through a school shooting. How large does that number have to be until we vote in the people willing to do something about it?