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More Crazy Gun Shit

« February 2018 »

Memo to the surprised: THIS IS HOW IT WORKS.

I heard quite a few refrains this week, mostly from the generally clueless punditocracy but also from the general public,saying that people couldn’t possibly attack the survivors of the Florida school shooting for speaking out, and then, when they attacked the survivors of the Florida school shooting for speaking out, wondering how such a thing could have happened.

I’ll tell you how it happened. It’s easy. What has come to be defined as The Right was being attacked. And one of the key things that separates the right from the left in this country is our approach to ideological purity. As a general rule, The Left identifies as The Left because it believes in a set of things, and The Right believes in certain things because it identifies as The Right.

And that’s why Mitt Romney accepted Donald Trump’s edorsement this week. Trump is the leader of The Right, therefore whatever Trump believes is what The Right believes, even if they didn’t believe it three years ago. Romney knows Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is mind-staggeringly high, so if he wants them to vote for him, he has to play nice with Trump. And that’s easy enough for him to do, because he’s a rich spineless asshole.

This, again generally, doesn’t happen with liberals. We didn’t suddenly start liking drone strikes on random browns just because Obama was doing it. We gave him a bit of a pass on it, sure, but we didn’t start thinking drone strikes were great and any liberal who didn’t think so was a Liberal In Name Only. /p>

Sure, there are some old guard conservatives who dislike what The Right has become, but they’re few, far between, and most of them are doing it less out of a sense of principle and more out of a sense that the only people who’ll pay them to speak anymore are MSNBC.

The NRA has been part of The Right forever, but they’ve also been moving to the right as the right has moved to the right. It’s tough to tell how much of that is leading the charge and how much is following the trend, because of the weird emotional and financial feedback loop between irrational, terrified white people and gun sales, but the end result is that anything that even smacks of MAYBE A FEW LESS GUNS THIS TIME is now outside of the right and must be stopped.

And the more indefensible your position becomes, the greater the lengths you have to go to to defend it. And you will defend it, because if you don’t, you might end up being a Republican In Name Only, which is morally equivalent to Stalin, and you can’t have that. So instead you mainstream the idea that George Soros is paying actors to pretend to be shooting victims so Obama’s deep state can take away all the guns, because that’s just common sense.

But hey, let’s keep pretending this is all some sort of reasonable debate, where one side says “hey maybe the legal age to buy a semi-auto assault rifle and the age to buy a handgun should be the same” and the other side stands up at CPAC and screams about how if only teachers had guns the socialists wouldn’t be trying to destroy us all. And we can all write smug little David Brooks columns about how these mean students aren’t respecting the honest, American love of murder-penises and thus will never win over Red America.

Or, instead, we could stop rewarding reprehensible behavior and do the one thing all of them, no matter how fucking stupid they are, truly understand. Take their fucking power away.