Guns and Republicans: soft on crime

“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Biden is ‘soft on crime’ but tramples Second Amendment rights.”

Reading that line in the paper turned my stomach.

Republicans shriek hysterically about Democrats taking away your guns. Like just about everything in today’s Republican universe, it’s simply a lie. I’m (now) a Democrat, and would actually favor taking away many guns; and repealing the Second Amendment. But the great majority of Democrats would not, even if they thought it feasible, which they (and I) do not. What most Democrats do favor, instead, is some reasonable regulations to keep guns from the hands of the most dangerous people, and curb the availability of military-style assault weapons whose only function is to kill many people fast.

This doesn’t “trample” the Second Amendment. No freedom is ever so absolute that it trumps all other societal concerns. Freedom of speech does not extend to perjury or libel. And “the right to bear arms” does not include howitzers, or nuclear weapons. Nor should it cover mass murder assault weapons, or allowing lunatics and criminals to buy guns. That’s all Democrats say.

President Biden’s measures are actually extremely modest steps that just nibble at the edges of the problem. That doesn’t keep Republicans, like the morally collapsed local Congresswoman Stefanik, calling them a “gun grab.”

A great majority of Americans — even of Republicans — agree with the Democratic proposals. So why does the GOP make opposition a centerpiece of their propaganda? 

Because the NRA is opposed. It’s an extremist organization, whose stance is as extreme as it could be. Second Amendment absolutism, as if even the most sensible, reasonable regulation of guns must lead to confiscating all of them. (Automobile regulations, including driver licenses, required annual inspections, speed limits, etc., do not curb “freedom” or lead to car confiscations.) Someone should introduce legislation to outlaw private ownership of howitzers — they’re guns, after all — just to test if the NRA will stay consistent and oppose that. 

But legions of gun lovers look to the NRA to call their tune. They’re still only a small minority of American voters. So how does that minority manage to call the nation’s tune?

Many think it’s that Congressional Republicans are beholden to NRA campaign money. Not so. Such contributions are paltry. What keeps Republicans in line is not NRA support but the threat of NRA opposition. A kiss of death.

Why, if most voters actually hate the NRA? Because gun lovers are one-issue voters. Others may care a lot about gun control, but only as one issue among many. They won’t vote against a candidate on that issue alone. Gun nuts will.

It’s a basic problem in democracy. Any issue may be of modest concern to the mass of voters, affecting them only marginally — but of intense concern to a few, who are greatly affected. That concentrated concern will outgun the others, and prevail against the greater good.

Then there’s “soft on crime.” Another in the Republican spit-bag of epithets mindlessly thrown at opponents. Just tossing words, because they can; no need for substance or explanation. Trump specialized in this. “Weak on crime, weak on borders, weak on the military.” (He preferred the word “weak,” as if to contrast his own phony posture of strength.) Republican voters —especially those high on guns — eat up this pap. 

Even generally sane voters can fall for it. “Soft on crime” is an insidious meme that warps minds, so all politicians fear the label, and strive hard to avoid it.

“Soft on crime.” But — what is a key element in crime? GUNS!!!

Morons can’t even spell

Involved in a very high proportion of serious violent crimes. America has vastly more guns, in relation to population, than any other country. We have 4% of the world’s population and 40% of its guns. And — surprise — way more gun crime than any other country. The NRA and gun nuts actually try to tell us the answer for too many guns is — wait for it — even more guns. Literally insane.

Meantime, most Republican “tough on crime” policies actually do little or nothing to reduce crime. What would have a big impact would be stricter gun regulation and diminishing the vast number of guns in circulation, responsible for so much crime. 

By opposing this, it’s Republicans who are the ones truly soft on crime

6 Responses to “Guns and Republicans: soft on crime”

  1. Don Bronkema Says:

    Your nausea is justified, your logic impeccable–but Der Mann will never be at peace till all arms are confiscated & beaten into ploughshares: Derringers, ICBMs, Ronald-Rayguns. The amygdala must be down-gineered & mirror-neurons upgineered, esp. for inbred micro-states like Mars & long-haul interstellar vessels [pending Alcubierre hyperdrive]. If Brahma dreams himself into Being, a quantal kosmos creates itself from moment to moment via syntelligent cross-observation, no? Videlicet Rovelli.

  2. rationaloptimist Says:

    DON!! — Thanks for all your comments! Actually — you have an amazing ability to play with words. It’s great. However — your actual message has a tendency to get buried in a smothering of word-play. Constructive suggestion: You might want to try to go for a little more plain old intelligibility!

  3. Don Bronkema Says:

    It’s an abreaction from illiterate, punitive foster parents. 5th grade teacher [SP 1941] beat me w/a yard-stick for speaking Latin. Switched to Greek, beat me harder. But take your point. In passing, tho, would you reject responsible acceleration of CRISPR? 10K defects await somatic or genetic cures. At 90, respondent is too old to save, but pushingem should my 21 y/o ‘miracle’ biodottir or her kids need intervention someday. Congrats again re your blog–common sense deserves a wide audience. Any media expansion plans? How can aye transmit contents elsewhere w/o breach of copyright–or is that antinometrical [an oxymoron]? Max cheers–bleev Jomala can save us!

  4. rationaloptimist Says:

    You are welcome to republish my content anywhere, no worries about copyright, but give me credit & maybe link to my blog

  5. Don Bronkema Says:

    Very generous. Certainly will credit & link to blog if lkan master how tuduso. The aforementioned offspring will hafta help–already 65 when Gates & Jobs manifested–ergo, zero digiskills. Kanyableev?

  6. My Week on Crooks and Liars | Mock Paper Scissors Says:

    […] The Rational Optimist says that gun violence proves that the Republicans are soft on crime. […]

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