Uvalde, Texas school shooting - the political thread

The fact he killed children doesn’t seem to bother them in the least.

Well, neither of those things happen in my country of birth (or anywhere other than the U.S. and warzones). From the perspective of those who advocate change, it doesn’t really matter what specific aspect of gun violence motivates a solution that would address both problems. But the probability that the the implacable resistance to any change might soften is perhaps a little higher when something dramatic like this hits the news. But I’m not holding my breath.

Might be because there’s something terrible about seeing 14 kids gunned down while attending school.

There are 30 gun-related homicides that happen each and every day in this country. We’re all just a bit oblivious to these events.

The Republican reaction to a pile of dead children is always: a) how can I deflect any blame from our failed policies, b) how can I use this for my political advantage, and c) how can I use it to suppress the rights of non-whites?

It does matter if your main goal is to shut down discussion about finding a solution.

Well, this forum for starters. I went through GD, P&E, IMHO, MPSIMS and the PIT just now and copied a link to every thread dealing in some way with mass shootings, and here is how many we have had:


I see zero threads from any of those 5 forums with activity in the past month, that appears (at least based on thread title) to be concerned with America’s general homicide problem (which in 2020, meant 13,500 gun homicides, of which around 450 were in mass shootings.)

Why haven’t you started one?

Because I perceive the forum to be hostile to solutions for most of these homicides and additionally, uninterested. People like what is flashy–even though the continual media hype around mass shootings, very likely costs lives: Contagion in Mass Killings and School Shootings | PLOS ONE

Every one of those threads is about people trying to address the problem of gun violence in general, and the solutions people keep on proposing would address all of the many forms of gun violence.

Oh man, you got us good. Look what hypocrites we are. Damn, we’re totally owned. Pat yourself on the back, you’ve proven yourself superior to us small brained morons. Well done. You can leave the thread now. You’re victorious. There’s no coming back from this one.

Why would it? The dead were already born children, not precious little unborn babies. /s

I guess we have to disagree–I perceive those threads to be overwhelmingly about mass shootings and bans of weapons used in very few gun crimes. I’m sure there are occasional comments about guns more generally, but certainly not the thrust of the thread.

I wonder how many of the same people posting in these outrage threads are against policies that there is strong correlative evidence played a major hand in crime reduction (including homicides) for many years, namely: Broken Windows Policing, and Stop & Frisk policies.

Okay. With respect, Martin, this is:

  • Tu Quoque Fallacy
  • Whataboutism
  • Red Herring

I will submit – and not for the first time – that you’re banging on the door of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and asking them why they don’t appear to give a damn about pancreatic cancer.

ETA: It may be the first time I’ve raised this issue with you. I should have been clearer about that.

Suppose you believe that there is a fundamental flaw in the design of a certain type of brake pad. The manufacturer disputes that there is a problem, and the NHTSA (regulatory body) are unconvinced and hesitant. Are you more likely to motivate them to act by pointing out a series of minor accidents happening almost every day, or the day a school bus goes over a cliff?

The problem is not that we lack motivation to address any and all gun violence. It’s a question of when the opposition to gun violence might take pause.

Here’s a little dose of political reality for the many liberals here–and considering the tenor of this thread as a political thread, this doesn’t seem out of line:

  1. Republicans will continue to poll well anytime crime is an important issue in a campaign. Ask yourself why that is.

  2. Democratic messaging on crime, aside from a few local Democrats who have started to smarten up, will continue to focus on mass shootings–which the narrative around these largely doesn’t move the needle electorally. Oddly it seems voters just care a lot more about “regular crime” that actually affects most of them on a daily basis. The mass shooting problem is the primary interaction national Democrats appear to have with crime, and they lose to Republicans in head-to-head polling, most of the time and in most places, when polling concerns handling crime.

  3. The only other interaction Democrats seem to reliably have around crime are various policies that most voters correlate to being at least somewhat “soft” on crime: police reform, sentencing reform, bail reform, deferring prosecution of “unpopular” crimes et al. Now, some of these policies in isolation, are popular–some I even support, but the reality is the Democrats as a party are widely seen as the party that is skeptical of police and less concerned about crime.

Now as you continue tut-tutting about this most recent tragedy, ask yourself how you can have so much outrage over this type of crime, and yet the Democratic party does wretchedly with voters on the issue of crime.

When I was a Republican this didn’t bother me much because it was to my side’s benefit, now that I am a reluctant Democratic voter due to having no other realistic options, it annoys me to see the party just perpetually fall into this cycle.

The GOP is already lining up to remind their pro-gun voters (who are a vocal and dedicated minority that are almost single issue voters) that “here we go again, the liberals are trying to take your guns”, and then they will continue their hammering attack on “crime infested Democrat cities”, further eroding the standing of the party on this issue. It seems like politically, a lot of Democrats care about mass shooting but don’t care at all about winning on the broader issues connected to it, and don’t seem to care that if anything their over-focus on mass shootings has helped drive NRA donations and GOP antipathy to gun control.

People are specifically focused on school shootings because off all developed nations, regardless of general violent crime statistics, the United States is literally the only country that routinely—as in more frequently than monthly—has mass shootings in schools, which aside from home is the last place that children should ever expect to be threatened or to experience violence and death. That the United States is also at the top of the scale of developed nations in terms of violent crime and crimes committed with firearms is also a major issue that many people would like to address but because this has become a “culture wars” issue there is zero traction to implement even modest and completely rational efforts to curtail such violence or access to firearms by violent and unstable people beyond “thoughts and prayers”, notwithstanding the very real limitations imposed by reasonable interpretations of the 2nd Amendment.

You have correctly focused on the fact that gun control advocates use school mass shootings specifically to highlight the problem of violent criminal use of uncontrolled firearms, largely under the assumption that even the people who believe in “The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” and thus the way to stop violent crime is to have more guns will still perceive school shootings as a reason for some kind of control over availability of firearms. Unfortunately, people opposed to any limitations or regulations on firearms have literally fabulated their way into utter denial and conspiracies about “crisis actors” instead of having any reasonable and negotiable position. Certainly, the NRA and most ardent gun owners view general violent crime as an ‘urban problem’ (read: blacks and gangs) and thus, not their problem, so trying to discuss the issue in broader terms isn’t going to make it more appealing.


The hubris is amazing

If only Al Qeda had known: just fly a piper cub into a grocery store or a grade school once a week.

They got pretty much everything they needed in one day; an American fear-driven response that created a power vacuum in the Middle East for them to exploit, and gravely wounding US pride and the American economy to boot after years of an unsuccessful “War on Terror”.


I don’t disagree with any of this–my conclusion based on this is Democrats are essentially playing into a cycle that benefits Republicans by choosing to go hard after guns the moment these media frenzy shootings occur.

There is not an easy answer to widespread insanity and crazy thinking, but I do think the party could do much better than it does now.