In response to horrific mass shootings, Republicans are, as usual, being childish. In Texas, actual children were mercilessly killed by a gunman who was able to legally purchase two assault rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammo and then use that same weaponry to carry out a crime he wouldn’t have been able to carry out otherwise. This is a simple, straightforward fact and a direct link between access to guns and a mass shooting.
Since the shooting, conservatives have blamed video games, rap music, lack of societal morals, lack of God and, of course, they are using mental illness as a crutch despite no credible news reporting that Salvador Ramos had been diagnosed with any kind of mental illness.
And now, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is leaning on another crutch Republicans have defaulted to for years—Chicago.
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“What about Chicago” has always been a weak argument, especially when it’s used to deflect calls for stricter gun laws. But beyond that, Republicans use “Chicago” the way kids who haven’t learned how to crack jokes yet use “I know you are but what am I?”—and Abbott is no exception.
“I hate to say this, but there are more people shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas,” Abbott said, according to the Texas Tribune. “We need to realize that people who think, ‘Well, maybe if we implement tougher gun laws, it’s going to solve it,’ Chicago, LA and New York disprove that thesis.”
This argument is as tired as it is anecdotal. It ignores Chicago’s population density. It ignores the fact that cities bordering Chicago do not have the same strict gun laws. It ignores study after study after study after study that shows stricter gun laws are effective in reducing gun violence. And if we’re going to use large cities like Chicago, New York and Los Angels]es as “proof” of anything, we also need to look at how the U.S. is damn near leading the world in gun-related deaths while countries like Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Norway saw sharp reductions in mass shootings and gun-related deaths after—you guessed it—adopting stricter gun laws.
Besides, conservatives literally never care about what’s going on in Chicago until it serves as a convenient political talking point.
But really, Abbott has always kept an empty platitude-driven narrative when it comes to the numerous mass shootings that happened in Texas on his watch.
From the Tribune:
Six mass shootings have occurred in Texas during Gov. Greg Abbott’s 7½ years in office. He has offered prayers and condemned each.
The murders of five police officers in Dallas were “acts of cowardice.” The killing of 26 in Sutherland Springs was a “horrific act.” The high school shooting in Santa Fe that took 10 lives was an “act of evil.” The slaying of 23 at an El Paso Walmart was a “senseless act of violence” while the shooting deaths of seven in Midland-Odessa three weeks later were a “senseless and cowardly act.”
The slaughter of 21 at an elementary school in Uvalde was a “senseless crime,” which, Abbott added at a news conference Wednesday, “could have been worse.”
It. Could. Have. Been. Worse.
Imagine being the leader of a state where 19 pre-teen children and two adults were ruthlessly gunned down and even having the audacity to be that dismissive. How about the fact that things could have been better if Ramos didn’t have ready and legal access to some of the deadliest guns on the market?
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