The Gun Nuts Are Losing This Time, and They Know It

Filed in National by on February 21, 2018

The signs are all over the place, including the comments here at Delaware Liberal: The jig is up. The fields of public discourse have been spread with all the bullshit they will hold.

Whenever the right-wingers get nervous they take it out on liberal blogs, the same way an ape feeling his position threatened will put on a branch-smashing, chest-thumping violence display for onlookers. But the pro-gun visitors we got today weren’t repeating their usual crap — they wanted to talk things out in a mature and sensible manner. Some give and take, a meeting of the minds.

As I said in the comments, you don’t negotiate when you’re winning, and you don’t win by negotiating. You negotiate when you’re losing. Especially these people.

Until now, the gun lobby has relied on brute force to carry the day in politics. The NRA offers no compromise on any issue, and it hasn’t had to because it assembled a single-issue-voting army to go with unlimited arms-manufacturer money. It saw how the forced-birth movement made itself a national political force and followed the lessons well, maintaining its fearsome reputation even as its power shows signs of waning.

There’s a strong possibility that all ended a week ago today when a clearly disturbed young man shot up his old high school, killing 17 people and wounding a dozen others. Many more than that saw horrible things and survived to tell about them, and they have started a movement that has to chill these already fearful people to the bone.

Here’s another sign amid the goat entrails: The paranoid fringe — which apparently includes Republican elected officials — already has resorted to the “crisis actors” meme, normally the refuge of last resort for cognitive dissonance. I expect any minute now Team Red will start blaming the media for exploiting all those teenagers who lost teachers and classmates for ratings, since calling them paid actors didn’t work. They will say anything to drown out the sound of those kids bearing witness to what they saw.

That’s why this one is different. By pulling the fire alarm and getting people into the hallways, the shooter ensured lots of people would see the results. The majority lived to talk about it. It’s riveting stuff, and Republicans are desperate to keep people from watching.

Donald Trump offered the first concession by moving to ban bump stocks, a minuscule gesture that manages to offend by addressing the last massacre instead of the current one. Oh, and tweeting tweeting his support for background checks, which clocked in with 97% public support this morning in the Quinnipiac poll. (Don’t know about you, but I’m encouraged he still realizes 97 is greater than 3). Golly, if only he hadn’t cut funding for background checks just last week. And I won’t even bring up where he was on the issue of the mentally ill having access to guns just one year ago. Those grave sins against the 2nd Amendment already have triggered (heh) a revolt by House conservatives. It’s clear that only the most modest nibbling at the margins will be allowed, turning the midterms into a referendum on the NRA.

There is one possible way gun-hugging Republicans can avoid an Election Day of reckoning: Public opinion on gun issues is remarkably swingy, much more so than on other hot-button issues, and support for gun control tends to die down in the lulls between massacres. Election Day is less than 10 months away. All America has to do is avoid another mass shooting for 10 months and Americans will forget all about what happened back in February.

Let’s see if America’s high school students will let them.

About the Author ()

Who wants to know?

Comments (17)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. spktruth says:

    Dozens of students who survived last week’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida have arrived in Tallahassee to push for new gun control measures. On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Florida House of Representatives blocked a bid to bring up a bill to ban sales of assault-style rifles in the state. The Florida gunman, a 19-year-old white former student named Nikolas Cruz, was a member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program before he was expelled from the school. Cruz was also part of a four-person JROTC marksmanship team at the school which had received $10,000 in funding from the NRA. For more, we speak with Pat Elder, director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, an organization that confronts militarism in schools. He’s the author of Military Recruiting in the United States.

  2. bamboozer says:

    Not a betting man but we all know there will be another slaughter between now and November, I doubt if we’ll have to even wait a month as I believe the police stopped a copycat a day or two ago. Guess what he was armed with? Is the NRA on the ropes? Hell no, but I am surprised the have deviated from their standard post gun slaughter procedure, perhaps they are scared a bit.

  3. Alby says:

    Turns out it’s pretty easy to get high school students out in the streets. They are marching out of their schools all over Florida today:

  4. puck says:

    NRA! NRA! How many kids have you killed today?

  5. delacrat says:

    Showing up in numbers is a start, but that did not stop the Iraq war. The Florida House shows that actions that don’t disrupt business as usual, inconvenience or make anyone uncomfortable won’t be taken seriously by NRA bought pols.

  6. Alby says:

    They did not show up in numbers to protest the Iraq war, at least not large ones. Only a single protest in this country, at the GOP convention in NYC in 2004, drew as many as 500,000 people. Those overseas were often larger.

    That was dwarfed by the Women’s March last January, and I think the March 24 demonstration will be just as well attended.

    But it’s always best to disrupt business as usual. These are kids. They’ll prove a quick study, I’ll wager.

  7. Alby says:

    The student demonstrations today took place all over the country, including at Wilmington Friends School. WDEL has video:

  8. Alby says:

    Here ya go, right on schedule:

    Bill O’Reilly on Twitter: “The big question is: should the media be promoting opinions by teenagers who are in an emotional state and facing extreme peer pressure in some cases?”

    Fuckin’ nailed that one.

  9. ProveMeWrong says:

    Calls about Nikalos Cruz were received from (2010 until November 2016), Broward County sheriff’s deputies responded to at least 36 emergency 911 calls from a pleasant-looking, tree-lined suburban home on 80th Terrace, the street in Parkland where Cruz lived with his younger brother, Zachary, and mother, who died last November at the age of 68.
    Nikolas Cruz was reportedly on an NRA-funded rifle team in high school in 2016. (Apparently the school does not do any background checks on students, he should not have had the privilege to be in that class even though they use air rifles.)

  10. Alby says:

    And that would have stopped the Las Vegas shooter…how?

    See, you can pull out your sorry bag of tricks when you look at each case individually, but there’s one thing they all have in common. See if you can figure out what it is before we take yours away.

    Why do you assume it should be the responsibility of the school, rather than the sponsoring NRA, to conduct the background check?

  11. ProveMeWrong says:

    All of this protesting should be coming from the parents about how their chidren’s welfare was neglected by the school, the county, the state, the federal government. All of those agencies should burden the blame. The NRA and President Trump were not to fault. It’s all about a mentally ill boy who slipped through the cracks of the agencies that should have helped him and now 17 people are dead because of their neglect.

  12. ProveMeWrong says:

    Did the NRA hold a gun to the head of the Supertendent of Parkland school so that they would take on the program?
    The school and the students knew that the boy was a problem.
    The local sheriff dept knew that he was a problem.
    The FBI was informed that he was a problem.
    What more did they need.
    Of course, he could have shot at anyone, anywhere, and anytime, but it sure would have helped if the doors at the school had been locked that day.

  13. Alby says:

    Your sad, tired arguments cut no ice here. The guns are going. We’re coming for yours. Better run. Or does your fantasy life include shooting gun-grabbers?

  14. Liberal Elite says:

    @PMW “It’s all about a mentally ill boy who slipped through the cracks of the agencies…”

    Isn’t that usually the case? Wasn’t that true in Newtown? Aurora?? Giffords??…

    You have no solutions. Every idea you spout as a possible “fix” is just plain silly.
    You’re grasping at straws and you don’t even realize how stupid you sound (or do you?).

  15. spktruth says:

    Some new information from Democracy Now. Appears there are JR ROTC programs all over this country. Thirteen and fourteen year olds are taught to shot guns. The Florida shooter was in that program. When he began the slaughter of those students he was wearing his ROTC tee shirt. Get the story completely at Democracy Now…so why isn’t cable news delivering that story….militarism of our public schools.

  16. jason330 says:

    It is interesting to me that the mass murder fans have no clue how to contend with this.

    They have nothing to add other than the same old tired bumper sticker sayings which basically amount to: “The 2nd Amendment is the most important thing ever written.” “Nothing will work anyway, so why try?” and “we need to accept mass murder, otherwise…tyranny”

    There is never any suggestion that America has a problem that needs fixing.

  17. Alby says:

    This was my favorite from today:

    Florida State Sen. Dennis Baxley: “Everybody is obsessing about the instrument. I want to solve the problem.”
    VICE News’s Alexandra Jaffe: “Why should anyone in Florida have an AR-15?”
    Baxley: “Why should they not?”
    Jaffe: “Because they are used to kill multiple people very quickly.”
    Baxley: “Well, spoons are used to eat stuff and kill yourself with obesity but we’re not picking on spoons to get rid of obesity.”

    Yeah, and apparently someone used one to scoop out that guy’s brains last night.