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Op-ed writers need to learn shaming gun owners won’t work

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I’m a little hypersensitive today.

After all, anytime anyone tries to accuse me of being pro-mass shooting, I get a little furious. I have my reasons. This happened on Twitter where all kinds of vile things happen, of course.

So you can imagine how I view journalists who do it by trying to claim gun rights supporters are somehow simply unwilling to do anything about mass shootings, which also happened today.

The problem, then, isn’t an ignorant or recalcitrant public. The problem is that Republicans have decided that guns are central to their political identity. And that identity is more important to them than any amount of carnage.

Conservative actor Dean Cain summed up the Republican attitude in a tweet after the mall shooting.

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery,” he quipped on Twitter.

For Cain the deaths of those in Allen—or Uvalde, or Sandy Hook—are a small price to pay for lax gun laws. You need guns to fight for the liberty to own guns. Mass shootings are a fair tradeoff for the right to defy tyrants who want to end mass shootings. It’s a perfect loop of bad logic.

Cain’s not alone; Republicans like Kentucky representative Thomas Massie and Colorado representative Lauren Boebert pose with guns in Christmas card family photos. Guns are regularly displayed in Republican campaign ads. Guns, and fantasies of armed resistance to vaguely defined foes are central to the GOP’s messaging and the GOP’s sense of themselves as a party and a movement.

The author then goes on about who unfair the American system is because we don’t let states like California dictate to the rest of the nation–a feature, not a bug.

However, I resent the hell out of the implication that we’re just “ho-hum” about mass shootings.

As noted above, I’ve been impacted by one myself. What I dealt with is nothing compared to what our own Ryan Petty endured when he lost his daughter in the Parkland shooting.

What the author doesn’t understand, either because he cannot or because he will not, is that people like Ryan, Dean Cain, Lauren Boebert, Thomas Massie, and myself aren’t just shrugging about mass shootings, we just don’t believe the answer lies in gun control.

See, so many people have it in their heads that gun control is the only possible answer to these shootings, that anyone who doesn’t support gun control must support these killings.

Never mind that the left went nuts post-Parkland at the mere suggestion that we harden our schools to make them poor targets for killers. That might have stopped Nashville and Uvalde, but we can’t make schools harder targets because a kid might get a bad feeling.

That doesn’t count toward trying to deal with mass shootings because it’s not gun control.

Yes, Cain made a comment that some on the anti-gun side are trying to have a field day over. It’s not untrue, it’s just not necessarily the most politically correct thing to say right now.

Well, you know what? I’d much rather have the issues associated with too much gun freedom than with too little, especially when you remember that so many of the mass shootings we’ve seen can be argued to be the result of too little freedom in the first place.

Allen, for example, took place at a gun-free outlet mall. Uvalde, Nashville, Michigan State, Parkland, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and so many others took place at schools. Other popular targets are churches–often gun-free zones–and malls, which are also places firearms are prohibited to law-abiding citizens.

So no, supporting gun rights and refusing to roll over for gun control in the wake of a mass shooting isn’t support for mass shootings or even tolerance for them. It never was and never will be.

No, what we’re seeing isn’t debate. It’s an attempt to shame us into rolling over. It’s an attempt to shame us into silence so, at a minimum, they can push the anti-gun narrative without opposition.

Well, gun owners aren’t exactly interested in playing nice with those that would lie about what we believe in an effort to bully us into compliance.

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