An astute observation I’ve heard made made is that Republicans and their president like to incite gun violence… as long as the targets are Democrats. They don’t care if the bullet is stronger than the ballot, and has been for the last 56 years, because it has usually worked out in their favor. It’s been progressive candidates who’ve been shot at or killed, at least most of the time.
But suppose the shoe was on the other foot. Suppose that public statements coming out Washington, or on the internet, tended to result in Republicans as well as Democrats getting hurt. Suppose that when Alex Jones or somebody like him called dead children “crisis actors,” that it was conservative parents who were being confronted by second amendment fanatics. Suppose that when (as just happened) the Republican governor of Texas joked about shooting reporters it was Fox News Hosts who were meant.
If any of that were true, I’d bet we would get reasonable gun control laws in the blink an eye.
Except, of course, none of that is true. Democratic congressmen and media figures are not playing Stochastic Terrorist and encouraging the more deranged of their followers to engage in violence. And Republican congressmen are just too addicted to the NRA’s money to change. And, worse, Republican leaders are too aware of the fact that reasonable gun control laws might end their domination of national politics.
They know, in short, that they rule via the power red bullets, and they can’t give that up.
All of this anarchy of the bullet is stronger than ballot has caused real problems. Part of the reason our current healthcare system has become next to impossible to navigate is because any overhaul would probably have to address the lack of mental illness coverage. Anyone with a functioning brain can point to the source of the problem. Republicans don’t want access to mental healthcare because their base includes the religious fanatics and weirdos that do almost all the political assassinations and mass shootings. We are averaging about one mass shooting a day. No other developed country has that problem. The difference being the will of the people has some weight in those countries. Here our lawmakers sit back and do nothing because the Republicans are counting their NRA money and counting on those red bullets occasionally eliminating Democratic leaders.
Chris Madsen is a writer and activist based in the great state of Hawaii. He frequently writes from the unique perspective of his Pacific home. His opinions are his own.
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