Sacrificing thousands of kids on the altar of racist rightwing fantasies
David Atkins with a view of the gun situation in the U.S. - I used to think opinion pieces like these were over the top, but with each passing year and new death total they are becoming more convincing.
The evidence seems to point to the desire by both political parties to cater to exurban and rural white men who are deeply committed to gun culture. The vast majority of the opposition to commonsense firearms control comes from this group. The Republican Party cannot win without them, and the Democratic Party is still loathe to give them up entirely. The demographics of the country have shifted, but not far enough for Democrats to blithely consign themselves to losing the “bubba” vote.
But why do exurban and rural white men care so much about this issue? Most of them don’t actually hunt for sport, and hunting rifles aren’t on the radar for gun control, anyway. Fear that hunting will be outlawed cannot explain it. There is a lot of talk among the Tea Party crowd about the “defense of liberty” that undergirds the rationale for the Second Amendment in the first place. But while that sort of talk is satisfying and high-minded for self-styled modern patriots, the reality belies the fantasy: the vast majority of these men don’t actually see themselves gunning down police and soldiers in a hypothetical Communist state takeover, and the puny small arms in question wouldn’t begin to stand up to the might of America’s high-tech standing army. Being an insurgent in Iraq or Afghanistan is a dangerous occupation at best fueled in part by anger at outside invaders, and it’s highly unlikely that these passionate gun advocates are hedging against a future as guerrilla warriors shooting American soldiers from duck blinds.
But it doesn’t take much time reading through conservative websites to see what actually drives the desperate need to own high-priced killing machines. There is a vast, festering paranoia in conservative circles about the “looters” and “parasites” coming to take their hard-earned material possessions in the supposed coming debt-fueled collapse of society. There is continual worry about some dark-skinned assailant attempting to enter their home and potentially steal their property. Radio shock jocks react to stories about carjacking by demanding that more people carry guns in order to litter the streets with more “dead urban thugs.” There are large segments of the population that want nothing more than to eliminate subsidies to the poor and then await the desperate masses who will supposedly come to their doorstep with a lead welcome.
Much more from Digby on how the right would like us to view mass shootings in the same manner that we do natural disasters.