Yesterday, a man dressed in tactical gear walked into a church and gunned down dozens of people. The shooter, who has been identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, is a 26-year-old white man with a record of domestic violence, who somehow purchased a firearm from a store in San Antonio. In other words, Kelley is the exact type of individual that shouldn’t own guns.
After that happened, Chelsea Handler tweeted, “Innocent people go to church on Sunday to honor their God, and while doing so, get shot in killed. What country? America. Why? Republicans.”
Former Trump campaign manager and current shill Kellyanne Conway attacked Chelsea Handler for that statement on Fox News, saying,
‘I wouldn’t even dignify it, I’m sorry we even have to show her Twitter comments, because it’s so beyond any type of reasonable response that anyone should have. Why people see politics immediately…it’s like I said in Las Vegas over a month ago, you had families literally still looking for their loved ones, through the rubble and remains in Las Vegas, running from hospital to hospital.
‘There were people who were injured, who then went on to pass away, and yet people are taking to Twitter in the comfort of their luxurious lives, pointing fingers, and as far as I can tell, never really helping in between the tweetstorms. Never really helped charities, never help people to heal, never try to reach across for understanding.
‘So I’m happy at times like this that President Trump is our commander-in-chief and our leader in this nation, because unfortunately, every president has to help heal the nation at different times, different tragedies. But the rush to judgment, particularly by people who just see politics and Trump derangement in every single thing they do, it doesn’t help the victims and it’s disrespectful to the dead.’
Here’s the video:
Of course, Trump immediately politicized the tragedy, too. He preemptively attempted to head off criticisms of the policies that led to this shooting, which is perhaps the best way to pay homage to victims – prevention.
He blamed mental health, rather than easy access to weapons by an individual who should not have had that access. That’s stigmatizing people who struggle with mental illness in order to defend bad gun legislation. How is that not political? Fun fact: those with mental illness are more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators of violence.
Here’s the video of his comments, via NBC:
Here’s Trump plainly advertising for more guns, politicizing the shooting even more directly:
And there we have it. In 15 seconds, Trump turns the biggest mass shooting in the history of Texas, with 26 dead and 20 others wounded, into an advertisement for guns. pic.twitter.com/6CKn4g3kX6
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) November 6, 2017
Everything is political. Arguing that you should not “politicize a tragedy” is a disingenuous tactic to try to stop your argument without actually confronting it, because the facts are on the side of those who want better gun legislation.
Stricter rules about who can buy weapons, and better systems for background checks, would have stopped the shooter from obtaining his weapon. Unfortunately, discussion of preventing tragedies is generally labeled as “politicizing” in the aftermath by those whose political agenda runs contrary to solutions. The reason that’s unfortunate is because shootings happen so often, it’s almost impossible to discuss them at all! The horrific slaughter in Las Vegas happened barely a month ago.
It’s not considered socially acceptable to discuss, especially by conservatives. You could almost say it’s not “politically correct.”
When conservatives accuse people of “politicizing” a shooting, they’re really just upset that they have no answer for a hard truth: Republicans could stop this anytime. They can’t, or rather won’t, because they are beholden to the NRA and the nation of gun fanatics they have created.
When Republicans say, “the only thing that’s stopping a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” what they’re really saying is that you both should buy a gun, so that manufacturer stocks go up. They don’t care about the end result. They’ve made it illegal to even study national gun violence.
Luckily, plenty of people have picked up where the government left off, and studied it for us. Guns do not make you safer. And simple reforms like expanded and universal background checks, as well as limited magazine capacity, should be bipartisan and would go a long way to lowering the number of mass shootings and the body count when they do happen. Republicans really are to blame.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images