Friday, October 02, 2015


Mediaite's Matt Wilstein thinks Donald Trump's comments on the Oregon mass shooting are appalling. Wilstein has a point, but it should also be noted that Trump probably aced the questions he was asked in the eyes of the wingnut voters he's courting.
‘What Are You Going to Do?': Trump Pathetically Shrugs Off Shooting

... Asked [during an appearance today on Morning Joe] what he would do to prevent incidents like this one if he were president, Trump said, “Well first of all, you have very strong laws on the books. But you’re always going to have problems. I mean, we have millions and millions of people. We have millions of sick people all over the world.”

“It can happen all over the world,” he continued, before contradicting himself within the space of one sentence. “And it does happen all over the world, by the way, but this is sort of unique to this country, the school shootings, and you’re going to have difficulty no matter what.”
It's fine that he contradicted himself. Gun fans -- a group that includes pretty much all Republican voters -- regularly wave off questions about the much lower levels of gun violence in other countries, though when pressed, they tell us we have an excessive number of gun deaths because we live in a "diverse culture." So both parts of that contradiction are acceptable on the right.
... Characterizing the issue as one that has more to do with “mental health” than guns, Trump said, “It’s awfully hard to put somebody in an institution for the rest of their lives based on the fact he looks like he could be a problem.” He then added, “You’re going to have these things happen and it’s a horrible thing to behold.”

Host Willie Geist pressed Trump to say whether he really believes that “some people are going to slip through the cracks and there’s not much you can do about it.” And, remarkably, the GOP frontrunner answered affirmatively.
What's so remarkable about that? Republicans say that all the time.

“Well, you know, it’s not politically correct to say that but you’re going to have difficulty and that would be for the next million years, you’re going to have difficulty,” Trump answered, expressing an enormous degree of resignation on the issue of gun safety. “People are going to slip through the cracks and even if you did great mental health programs, people are going to slip through the cracks.”

“It’s the same old story. But what are you going to do? There are many people like that and what are you going to do? Institutionalize everybody?” he asked. “So you’re going to have difficulties. You’re going to have difficulties with many different things, not just this. That’s the way the world works -- and by the way, that’s the way the world always has worked.”

So, essentially, Trump is saying that we are always going to have mass shooting events in this country and his solution is… do nothing?
How different is that from what current Establishment dream candidate Marco Rubio said in the last presidential debate?
RUBIO: There’s a broader issue here as well. First of all, the only people that follow the law are law abiding people. Criminals, by definition, ignore the law. You can pass all the gun laws in the world -- like the left wants -- criminals are going to ignore it because they are criminals.
Rubio just said about criminals what Trump says about the violently insane. And Rubio's answer is boilerplate Republicanism.

Wilstein's conclusion:
There may be an argument to be had over the best solution to the epidemic of gun violence in America, but the posture of pure indifference put forward by Trump should not be an acceptable position for someone who wants to be president of the United States.
Well, Trump's position already is an acceptable one for a presidential aspirant, because what Trump says is what just about every other Republican candidate believes, except that Trump's opponents are careful not to say, "what are you going to do?" They don't think there are major problems with our gun laws. Maybe they'll make vague noises about mental health:
Ben Carson just happened to be on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Thursday afternoon, shortly after news of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon broke. The GOP presidential candidate delivered the standard conservative message about focusing on mental health instead of gun control....

“Obviously, there are those who are going to be calling for gun control,” Carson said of the event, which left at least 13 people dead. “Obviously, that’s not the issue. The issue is the mentality of these people.” He said instead of focusing on guns, we should be looking for “early warning clues” to prevent incidents such as this one.
Certainly they'll say we have too much gun control already:
“Sadly, virtually every one of these shootings across the country has occurred in so-called gun free school zones,” [Ted] Cruz told conservative host Howie Carr of WRKO-AM, ahead of a two-day campaign swing in New Hampshire. “If you look at the jurisdictions that have really strict gun control laws, they consistently have among the highest crime rates.”

By contrast, he cited relatively low crime rates in Houston and Dallas where, he said, “the citizenry can defend themselves…. There is nothing a criminal likes more than an unarmed victim.”
Trump really would have aced this if he'd blamed the massacre on the removal of prayer from public schools, or on violent entertainment sold to America by the liberal entertainment industry. But he did fine. He passed this test with flying colors. Wanting to do nothing about gun violence is a sign that he's a genuine Republican.




He'll be attacked for that, but not from the right.




Median N. Mean said...

So nice to hear Republican candidates interested in a massive expansion of funding for mental health services. I look forward to reading their proposals.

Ten Bears said...

I can assure you Roseburg Oregon is not a gun free zone. The ratio of guns to people is probably three to one. And I doubt very much it was "targeting christians. That short story stinks to hell like opportunism.

M. Bouffant said...

Interesting the way the various R candidates conflate "criminals" & mental illness. There's a difference between an armed robber, let's say, who wants money & would as soon not use his gun, & a person who essentially wants to die & take as many w/ him as possible. There is no defense to that except keeping guns away from those people.

And of course the ever popular "law-abiding citizen", who abides the law right until the moment road, domestic or generalized rage leads to reaching for that gun & pulling the trigger until the ammo's gone.

John Taylor said...

Doing nothing isn't an option. We will probably never eliminate this kind of crime, but we certainly can damn well try.

Aunt Snow said...

I see. We jail women who take a valium when they're pregnant - Dog forbid it might hurt the precious fetus. We jail people who take secret videos of animal abuse in factories, to prevent harm coming to industries. We jail people who sell pot; doom young men and women who experiment with sex at young ages to be listed as offenders for the rest of their lives - to prevent future "offenses."

Yet we do nothing to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of someone who thinks mowing down a couple dozen innocent people will solve his emotional problems, before he commits suicide by cop.

Hey, what are you gonna do?

Aunt Snow said...

Ten Bears - If it were true - which it may not be - I'm assuming he simply chose to emulate the mythology of Columbine so he could leave the world with a myth of his own self-aggrandizement. How better to one-up the Columbine crew in the great mass-shooter scorecard in his sick mind.