Since [Heller], the Second Amendment has become gospel — literally. In a recently filed amicus brief, Texas Governor Greg Abbott argued that “Texans have long cherished the right that was confirmed by the Second Amendment, but conferred by God.” (Actually, Jesus said, “Put your sword back in its place, for all who live by the sword shall die by the sword.” [Matthew 26:52] But whatever.)
In fact, any day now, the Supreme Court is set to (probably) strike down a New York policy that issues “concealed carry” permits only to people who show that they need a gun for self-defense.
The tragic irony, as The Onion noted eight years ago, is that we know how to stop this from happening. While we don’t yet know what could have prevented this particular attack, the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety lists 37 solutions on its website, from background checks to waiting periods, prohibiting ‘open carry’ to repealing ‘stand your ground’ laws, banning high-capacity magazines and assault weapons to holding the gun industry accountable.
It’s not rocket science, and while there remains significant disagreement on some of these policies, there’s enormous, widespread support for many of them. But God help any Republican who has the courage to stand up to the NRA, gun manufacturers, and the rage of the populist Right. (Indeed, almost no such Republicans exist anymore.) For profound, deep, even spiritual reasons, many white Americans do exactly what President Obama infamously said in 2008: “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them… as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Our collective refusal to do anything about these horrifying mass shootings is not the Second Amendment’s fault. It’s white supremacy’s fault. It’s Republicans’ fault. It is that simple.
— Jay Michaelson in The Right-Wing Lie That’s Killing Our Children