Why hasn’t anyone on the political left labelled Republicans as being soft on crime when it comes to gun control legislation?
Think about it – it’s the same arguments used against liberals for decades over drug use; Democrats wanted to decriminalize certain drugs, focus on preventative measures to combat addiction and the spreading of diseases like HIV by opening needle dispensaries. The GOP will offer thoughts and prayers but won’t actually do anything to prevent another Columbine, another Sandy Hook, another Vegas. Democrats actually offered ideas to end the systemic use of drugs over focusing on drug trafficking and the criminality it creates – if you end the consumer’s need, you end the commerce.
Gun Culture | White Culture
There are a few reasons why the Republicans won’t quit with their Second Amendment rhetoric: “It’s America’s right!”; the NRA has deep pockets and more influence than almost all other lobbyists; the propaganda circulated to constituencies about the federal government trying to take away the weapons. But if we’re being honest we know it’s more to do with the symbolism of White America.
Now this isn’t to say People of Color don’t use guns – of course they do, but only in one subsection of gun imagery. Depicted without criminal context, guns represent freedom of white, middle-American men, protecting their families, their country, and their freedom from oppressors (whoever they may be). Drug use, on the other hand, has focused on minorities, on African and Latino Americans as the sole perpetrators, despite the overwhelming number of drug users being white.
Republicans are soft on crime. They don’t want to offend their constituencies which personify the circulated pro Second Amendment evocations every time an attempt is made to combat excessive gun violence. Republicans are soft on preventing guns from getting into the hands of the wrong people who have used them to kill students from as young as six to those in college, or open fire on hundreds of people at a concert in Las Vegas or a movie theater in Aurora, or the slaughter of LGBT+ people in what was thought to be a safe space in Orlando.
It is weak to simply offer sad condolences whenever a mass shooting occurs when it is you who holds the power to prevent. For decades this has been the Republican response. They chastise Democrats for putting the debate to the people’s representatives while pocketing money from the formidable gun lobby.
No one wants to come and remove people’s guns (mostly because it would be an impossible operation). Most owners are measured, reasonable and cautious. They take the handling of guns responsibly. But the GOP, led by Donald Trump, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, don’t even want to discuss ways to stop a minority of gun owners from accessing these weapons.
So why haven’t those on the left thrown the argument back in the face of every Republican who refuses to act legislatively on the continued culture of gun violence? Why aren’t conservatives branded as un-American for their apathy to the sanctity of life in the land of liberty? And why do they refuse to do the work of their constituents, prioritizing instead the wants of the NRA, when even Republican voters are split 49 – 45 percent in favor of restrictions?
I don’t have an answer. I’m actually asking.
When that starts, maybe we can get into actual debates on the issues, like the nonsensical belief the Founders would have permitted the use of automatic, military-styled weapons by regular citizens, who unlike those in the armed services don’t require hours of classes and training to operate these weapons.
Or John Lott’s assertion of More Guns Less Crime, a fallacy propagated by the gun lobby and right wing ‘experts’. States with easier access to guns have created violent crime at a higher rate than those which have strict regulation. Congressional Republicans’ refusal to participate in preventative measures is not just soft on crime, but is arguably responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths every year.
Maybe these debates will actually lead to a resolution, but the ineptitude of the Republican Party to have a reasonable discussion, to prevent more loss of life, to ensure children will never be gunned down in their classrooms will in the meantime continue.
The Republican Party is soft on crime and un-American. Don’t let them forget it.