Organizing for Action “Team Leader” and Garden State gadfly Larry Hirsch [above] penned a polemic for huffingtonpost.com called Just Sayin’ — Republican Doublespeak on Guns. As a TTAG commentator once pointed out, when you say “just sayin'” you’re “just sayin'” your logic is on shaky ground. If that’s true, Hirsch’s anti-gun rights rhetoric rates an eight on the logical Richter Scale. More than that, Hirsch’s diatribe reveals a fundamentally flawed, not-to-say mentally challenged mindset. Like this . . .
When Donald Trump and the Republicans talk about gun violence the only incidents they seem to bring up are San Bernardino, Paris and now Brussels. What these incidents have in common is that they were carried out by terrorists tied to ISIS. The Republicans use these tragedies to argue against stricter gun laws saying that people need guns to protect themselves from terrorist attacks. Donald Trump’s now famous line is that there would have been less deaths if everyone in the Paris nightclub had guns. The equation for them is more guns = less tragedies.
Right from the git-go, Hirsch displays complete contempt for factuality. A quick Google search reveals that Donald Trump has “brought up” the Umpqua Community College shooting, the Virginia TV broadcaster shooting, the Planned Parenthood shooting and many more mass shootings.
Truth be told, every time there’s a big-profile ballistic incident, The Donald and his Republican cohorts address the dangers of civilian disarmament. As you’d expect. But that doesn’t suit Hirsch’s pro-gun control, anti-Republican narrative.
You don’t hear the Republicans bring up Columbine, Newtown, Charleston, Virginia Tech, Umpqua Community College or the hundreds of other gun violence tragedies where the killer was not ISIS-related. They don’t want us to look at the Americans perpetrating terrorist-type killings in our country. This would undermine their argument against more restrictive gun laws. Never mind that the killers at Columbine and Newtown got their guns from their parents large stash. There would have been less to choose from if there was a limit on how many guns a person could own. Never mind that the killer in Newtown had a semi-automatic weapon and how many lives would have been saved if they were still banned in this country. Republicans don’t want to discuss these attacks. Listening to Trump, Cruz, and their friends you would never know they happened.
When you start your argument with a bald-faced lie (Republicans focus their gun rights arguments entirely on terrorism) it’s easy to slip into absurdity. Gun control is a good thing because it would have restricted the Columbine killer’s choice of firearms? Huh? I wonder if Hirsch knows that Columbine was a failed bomb plot. Or how guns work.
Equally, Hirsch contends/assumes that an “assault weapon” ban would save lives. While there is some minor debate about the efficacy of the previous assault weapons ban — advocates share Mr. Hirsch’s belief it simply wasn’t in place long enough — studies conclude the AWB did sweet FA to reduce “gun violence.”
I also wonder if the OFA Team Leader has even a tenuous grasp of reality. Or is Hirsch one of those “ends justifies the means” gun control guys: an agitpropagandist who believes that the need for civilian disarmament trumps any requirement to tell the truth about guns.
This willful ignorance by Republicans is distorting the debate on guns and is a danger to the American people. Yes, it is vitally important to deter terrorist attacks by ISIS and other groups. However, not to include the other needless deaths caused by the easy availability of guns in this country is irresponsible. The fact that assault weapons aren’t banned here is a travesty as they have nothing to do with self-protection. A person can have their second amendment rights without having the right to have guns that do nothing but kill other people quicker.
Gun control advocates suffer from psychological projection (wikipedia.org: “defending themselves against their own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others”).
Normally, gun control advocates accuse gun owners of barely contained mental illness. In this case, Hirsch asserts that Republicans suffer from willful ignorance. As I’ve shown above, he’s describing his own mental mindset.
By this point in his rant, Hirsch is racing for the finish line. Which accounts for the [inadvertent] implication that civilian firearms ownership deters terrorists. And the take-it-for-granted assertion that the “easy availability of guns” leads to “needless deaths.” Not to mention the intellectually sloppy idea that the Second Amendment has some sort of lethality clause, related to the speed at which a gun cycles.
The gun issue should be a wedge issue in this campaign. The vast majority of Americans support stricter gun laws and electing a President and a Congress that supports them should send a strong message to the NRA and its supporters. We cannot elect any candidate that does not address the whole issue of gun violence instead of just focusing on foreign terrorist attacks. The plain truth is LESS GUNS = LESS TRAGEDIES all you have to do is read the names of those who have died needlessly. The hope is that this truth will resonate with Americans when they vote this November.