The Worst Responses to (Insert Latest Gun Massacre Here)

This was going to be specifically about Uvalde. But I wanted to wait a week or so to collect the best of the worst of the dumbest of the responses. And then I started thinking that within a week, there’d probably be several more gun massacres to steal Uvalde’s thunderstick. And lo and behold there were — as well as at least a dozen or so planned attacks and credible threats of attacks.

After Uvalde, there were the same idiotic responses that happen after any mass shooting. By now, we have enough “thoughts and prayers” to paper the walls of the NRA headquarters several times over. From just reading or hearing the comments, you can’t tell which specific mass shooting they’re referring to. It’s all interchangeable, cut and paste, rubber stamp, and on to the next one. And most of these remarks boil down to one thing:

“Don’t blame the gun”

Round up the usual suspects. You can probably repeat the litany by heart, since you’ve heard it many, many times by now. “Don’t blame the gun. It was mental illness. It was video games. It was rap. It was godlessness. It was abortion. But guns had nothing to do with it.”

Trouble is, other countries also have mental illness, video games, rap, “godlessness” and abortion. But no other country fetishizes guns. And no other country has routine gun massacres.

Abortion invariably appears in the deflection derby, in at least two ways: (a) how dare you complain about a few kids being slaughtered by guns when even “more kids are killed” by abortion; and (b) this is what happens when a culture doesn’t “value life”. Abortion gets inserted into all kinds of discussions where it doesn’t belong, because right-wingers never let a chance go to waste to exploit a volatile wedge issue.

And if more prayer would keep us safer, why do so many gun massacres occur in churches? Why do none occur in nations far less religious than the U.S. — even atheist nations like China and Russia? (Speaking of Russia, after actor George Takei suggested AR-15 owners should donate them to Ukraine, someone retorted that he’d just made the case for an armed citizenry, nyuk-nyuk-nyuk. Except he didn’t, not by a long shot. Ukrainians who join the war effort are not just “armed civilians”, but are joining a military drive to defeat a foreign invader.)

And then there’s the inevitable corollary of “don’t blame the gun”:

“We need more guns”

Isn’t it interesting that the one constant solution the right-wingers offer for gun violence is a hair of the dog — and they just happen to be heavily funded by the gun industry? Quite a coincidence, wouldn’t you say? Also interesting that you hardly heard this solution proposed after the Buffalo supermarket shooting, where the targeted victims were black. How many people did you hear say that African-Americans should be more heavily armed?

Specific proposals have included traumatizing kids even further by having unannounced inspections by armed personnel, and the evergreen favorite of arming the teachers. That’s right, we can’t trust the teachers with history books, but we’re supposed to give them an AR Bazooka 5000 or whatever. Remember, teachers are often singled out as being supposedly part of the problem — “indoctrinating” kids, which somehow leads to the kids being magnets for bullets. So we rectify the problem by giving those evil teachers implements for firing bullets. If it doesn’t make sense to you, you’re just not living in the right-wing alternate universe.

Above all, “the way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Oh? So how about dozens of good guys with guns? Like, say, the police who were dispatched to the scene at Robb Elementary. Weren’t they at least nominally “good guys”? And yet they stood around with their muzzles up their butts for 77 minutes while the gunman slaughtered children inside.

Even “The Cool Kid’s Philosopher“, Ben Shapiro (he of underwater real estate fame) pontificated that the reason so many kids get shot is that “kids cannot carry guns”; and that people who do carry guns are not as likely to get shot, before adding that

I’m unaware of any situation in which the threat of a good guy with a gun has not ended a situation with a bad guy with a gun.

He doesn’t get out much. In fact, he doesn’t pull his head out of his ass much. Not only are there numerous cases of “armed good guys” failing to stop a crime (sometimes tragically so), but one study indicated that being armed makes you 4.5 times more likely to be shot. And Ben was totally ignoring what had just happened in Uvalde, where the only Good Guy to enter a building under siege was an unarmed mother.

Gun-free zones

Another related parrot line is that shooters target schools so frequently because they are “gun-free” zones. The gun culture even routinely quotes the bogus “statistic” that 98 percent of mass shootings occur in such zones. That bloated lie comes to you courtesy of John Lott, a thoroughly debunked and shameless quack whose fraudulent “research” is often cited as gospel by the Second Amendment crowd. (To arrive at that 98 percent figure, he counted each fatality as a separate incident!) More accurately, about 12 to 13 percent of these incidents occur in “gun-free” zones — which indicates nothing more than chance — and there is no evidence that shooters ever select such locations because they are gun-free. Indeed, “gun-free” zones are not really gun-free; they can still have their designated “armed good guys”.

False Flag

The claims that mass shootings are faked for political advantage used to be exclusively the province of the most extreme batshit brigade. Nowadays, they’re standard dogma of the GOP mainstream. But I repeat myself.

But whaddabout Chicago?

It tells you a great deal about right-winger logic that they believe they can deflect from the problem of gun violence by citing further examples of gun violence. Invariably, they fall back on Chicago — perhaps because they believe it to be the most violent American city. It isn’t — it currently ranks 20th in that department, behind several much smaller cities, and several cities in states that are deep red in more ways than one. (And note that the 5 cities with the highest gun violence rate have loose gun laws; as do the 5 states with the most gun violence.)

At any rate, the message here is something like: “If you haven’t eliminated gun violence everywhere else, then you have no right to complain about gun violence anywhere else.” Conservatives speak as if they somehow assume that “gun control” advocates are, for some reason or other, making an exception for Chicago while pushing for tougher gun laws in all other places.

But whaddabout cars, airplanes, hammers, etc.

The inappropriate false comparisons always come as thick and fast as bullets from an AR-15. Perhaps this time it was best (?) summed up by perpetually self-humiliating CongressThing Lauren Boebert:

When 9/11 happened, we didn’t ban planes.

No, but we’re now not allowed to carry scissors, water or peanut butter onto a plane. Surely we can impose better restrictions on things that are, shall we say, somewhat more dangerous.

But whaddabout BLM and Antifa?

No joke. They actually try out this one. Repeatedly and predictably.

Boys will be boys

It’s no big secret that (with perhaps one or two exceptions somewhere or other) mass shooters are always male. That’s related to what is often characterized as toxic masculinity. Right-wingers hate that term, believing that misogynistic machismo is a perfectly healthy Amurrcan trait — hey, what’s wrong with a little wife-beating to keep them in line. So, as they do with every other issue, they try to turn it upside down, spinning acts of violence as the result of suppressing rampaging testosterone rather than of stoking it. Thus, a guest on Fox “News” mused that:

Our culture is controlled by fear and cowardice. Masculinity, traditional male values, are under attack. There’s — it’s not any mystery why young boys are confused, angry, confused about their identity, angry at the world… [W]e turned over our culture to the pansies in northern California and their social media apps.

In addition to all the standard tried and true responses to gun massacres, there were a few fresh twists after Uvalde — some of which no doubt will become a standard part of the repertoire in the future.

Critical Race Theory

It shouldn’t be surprising that GOPers should use CRT, an extremely popular whipping boy that they know absolutely nothing about, to further fan the flames. Their “argument” such as it is, is that by teaching the truth about history, teachers are encouraging violent psychopaths. And again, they want to extend to those teachers the opportunity to become violent psychopaths themselves. It’s a good bet that you’ll be hearing about CRT again after future bloodbaths.

It’s the doors, stupid

Here’s another one that seems fairly new, but has real staying power: it’s not really that we have too many guns, say the wingers, but that there are too many doors. Limit schools to one door each, they say, and that’ll stop the carnage cold. After all, you can’t kill kids with bullets if they’re already dead from a fire. Maybe we also should enforce the single-door rule for the houses of Supreme Court justices, eh?

The shooter was demon-possessed

Hmmm… that one has real perennial potential too.

“And stop being a propagandist”

That’s a direct quote from Ted Cancun Cruz (who, remember, fancies himself a modern Galileo) retorting to a reporter who had the audacity to sincerely ask him the extremely vital question of just why these things only happen in the U.S. You can always tell when a journalist is doing their job well, because some arrogant fascist will haughtily lecture them about how not to do their job.

Critter control

In a desperate quest to justify ownership of precious toys like the Ar-15, right-wingers are constantly trying out new excuses. The idea that such a machine is vital for “home defense” has worn rather thin, but not to worry. Now they’re suggesting that it’s the ideal thing to stop raccoons raiding the chicken coop (ask a chicken farmer how smart this is), and to dispatch prairie dogs because… well, just because. It’s not enough to merely kill those varmints. You have to pulverize them as an example to any of their comrades who might be tempted to learn critical race theory.

(Note: the green sneakers pictured above depict those often worn by Maite Rodriguez, a 10-year-old student at Robb Elementary. These distinctive shoes enabled the identification of her remains, thoroughly shredded by an AR-15.)

Former Guy at the NRA Convention

The very existence of the NRA is enough of a slap in the face to humanity; but not content with being merely egregious, they held their big pow-wow (a gun-free zone, by the way) shortly after the Robb Elementary slaughter — and only a few miles away, no less. And, in an effort to break all records for tastelessness, they had Former Guy stand on stage and read the names of the victims, whose names he predictably mangled; each name was followed by the ringing of a bell, as if counting the score. And at the conclusion, he did a little celebratory dance.

Pure class, as always. Just like the rest of the Second Amendment cult.

If I thought it would help, I’d apologize.

That was Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, in a press conference at which he acknowledged that it was the “wrong decision” to wait over an hour to send police into the school where the gunman was butchering kids. Ya reckon, Steve? He also took the time, by the way, to suggest that maybe the shooter’s problem was that he played video games.

“It could have been worse”

Thus spake Greg Abbott, honorable governor of Texas, before reluctantly canceling his scheduled appearance at the NRA convention due to public pressure (and opting for a pre-recorded message to the gunster gang instead). Yes, Governor, it certainly could have been. And it certainly will be.

“There’s no reason to live in the past

That was a comment made by a random white bystander to the great-grandfather of a murdered Robb Elementary student as he demanded answers 11 days later. After all, Uvalde came 10 days after Buffalo, and who even remembered that bit of ancient history anymore? No time to dwell on today’s massacres. We have to cue up the dumb responses to tomorrow’s.


  1. About schools: my son, who is now 29 years old & currently serving in the Army, graduated from a NY state high school in 2011. There was always police present, at least two cars. After the kids got to school, the doors were all locked to outsiders. If I went to the school to bring him something he forgot, or to confer with an administrator, I had to go to one side door, ring a bell, talk to a camera when directed to do so, and then enter when I heard a buzzing noise. When inside, I had to show ID to the security guard inside the door. There wasn’t a metal detector, but it would have easy to install one; there may be one there now for all I know.

    This was a long time ago now. My son was in high school between 2007 & 2011. Why are we still talking about securing schools?

      • WRONG, it’s left-wingers who want to ban guns who keep changing the subject. Locked doors and controlled access works. After 9/11 we learned how to control access without gun control. Take a lesson from TAS and we could have safe schools!

      • The two school shooters in Jonesboro, AR were 11-year-old students who shot their classmates and teachers OUTSIDE the school after tripping a fire alarm. “Controlled access” did not make a difference. Controlled guns would have. Anyone who’s actually visited a school (I’ve visited hundreds} recognizes the “single entry” bullshit for the diversion it is. The fact is that since at least Columbine, schools HAVE used a single entry. Doors have been all locked, and visitors are buzzed through only at the front. Furthermore, I’ve sometimes had to submit to a background check, and even fingerprinting, before being allowed to do a presentation at a school, despite my professional standing. Nobody is suggesting that security measures like these be eliminated. But quite clearly, they are not enough.

    • I think its absurd that current background checks are so inept that an 18 year old kid legally purchased two AR-15s, thousand of high impact bullets, and even body armor–some of which can be purchased online. But when right wingers say that the guns aren’t to blame, that’s an obviously poor excuse of an analogy. However, like the commenter above, many of us wouldn’t mind seeing metal detectors and security measures like she described. Even a school marshal dressed in plain clothes would be great. At first all this might be scary and something that students will need to get used to. However, if they are safe and loved, kids are more resilient than we think. Why can’t we do the same for schools as the NSA has done when passengers board a jet plane– like check out their entire families with metal detectors, and other devices. As we all know many chidren travel with parents and are often present with their parents when they’re all checked out by security agents. As far as I know kids have not been traumatized by such routine preventative measures that soon became parts of their everyday lives. So why can’t we also use adequate security checks in public schools?

      Liberals like me have never even considered banning ALL guns, but we do want background checks done right, using a national data base! And if our gun store owners use common sense they might decide that it is just plain crazy to sell high power, military style weapons, and high speed body pulverizing bullets, to a teenager! The only other option would be to build bullet proof panic rooms in the back of each classroom–rooms that are bullet proof and which have direct phone connections with the police. However, their construction would most likely be impossible to fund, given the expense of building them in so many different locations. And local and State governments would have to pay for them through the nose before panic rooms can ever become a reality. In the meantime, let’s raise the purchase of guns to age 21 or perhaps age 25. And let’s allow very few people own AR-15s without first being trained how to use them–and for God’s sake, lets not be filled with imaginary fears that make us believe we must own a vast battery of powerful guns and deadly weapons to be safe. Let the police bear the brunt of those who enable violent crimes by believing that guns (all guns), should never make it to the wrong hands!! Yes, it’s idealistic, and yes, background checks will not stop all mass shootings nor all other kinds of gun crimes, But can’t we even try?–will the NRA continue to be the most powerful lobby in Washington for another 30 or 40 years?

      As the POP says, all the thoughts and prayers in the world will not do any good unless they are up backed by actions!!–particularly the sanity of those we elect!

  2. First let me say that I do not believe that the leaders of our Continental militias, nor the writers of the Constitution intended to have the village idiot among the ranks of armed citizens. Second, I have read the reports after Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. The issue of school shootings is more complex than one single solution. Even the FBI profilers cannot predict who will become a shooter. So why are we waiting on “gun control” as a solution when for over twenty years there have been recommended and available secondary protections. Here is where I differ with POP. Please read the reports before you dismiss controlled access or “doors”. The fact is that Sandy Hook Elementary School was torn down and rebuilt with controlled access, limited lines of visibility and many more passive deterrents, yet aesthetically pleasing and not a “prison” as detractors would want us to imagine.
    Pete Buttigieg called the idea of limited access or “Doors” insane. Obviously, he does not know how our government works, nor has he read the reports, nor the Federal Commission on School Safety standards which the Dept. of Education in cooperation with the Dept. of Homeland Security, have readily available. (I have to deduce we have the inmates running the asylum.)
    While we wait for Congress, (read that as somebody else), to do something, we need to take responsibility for our children as Sandy Hook did. No, we don’t have to tear down our existing schools but when we build and remodel our schools, we can incorporate Federal safety recommendations. With our existing schools we can also retrofit many of the recommendations now. We do not need to wait for gun legislation to make our children safer.
    We need to stop waiting on someone else and take responsibility to do the things that are readily available for us to do now. Secondly, as I stared when I started, the issue is too complex to be calling each other stupid and wasting time doing another study. Stop wasting time protesting outside and go inside, attend a city council meeting, attend a school board meeting. Inform yourself on what can be done and go do it.

    • More security is certainly needed. And fewer guns. Right-wingers try to peg it as an either/ or proposition. It isn’t.

  3. I agree it is not an either / or proposition, but again it is the left-wingers such as David Hogg and his ilk, that think the only solution is to ban “assault rifles”.

    • Have you really heard him say that it’s the “only solution”? Certainly, that’s what he’s focused on. And it’s hardly surprising given his story.

    • Have you really heard him say that it’s the “only solution”? Certainly, that’s the one he’s focused on. And it’s hardly surprising given his story. But I haven’t heard him be dismissive of any other safety measures. Right-wingers, on the other hand, immediately dismiss any attempts to regulate guns, which is the most important step to take. Hogg, by the way, isn’t particularly left-wing. He’s been allied with progressives because they’re the only ones who will support his mission at all. He’s repeatedly expressed a willingness to work with Republicans who will act in good faith. There just aren’t any.

  4. Kudos to David Hogg and his fellow students who are merely saying in a very strong voice that SOME new regulations, like better background checks and keeping AR-15s out of the hands of kids–choices that needs to happen now! I also don’t think I have ever heard Hogg recommend an either/or solution. He and millions have only said that we need SOME things to change. What is that old saying?–Insanity is when we do the same things over and over again, while expecting different results?

    So, if someone thinks that a teenager needs two AR-15s, body armor, and high speed bullets to protect him or herself, from neighborhood gun violence initiated by murderers and thieves. I suggest that those who are suspicious should move to other neighborhoods and discover real solutions–in which big oil user realize that we also need to develop renewables and other green energy to survive!

    Here’s a link to Exxon Mobiles own research memos, containing information which dates back to the1970s and 1980s and which concluded that Exxon must have been hiding what it knew all along!!

  5. I don’t know why I transitioned to Exxon Mobil and climate change at the end of my above comments? All I can say is that I was very tired and having a hard time concentrating. However, it wouldn’t hurt if large oil companies diversified and also became part of the green energy movement. Anyway, what I intended to say about guns, is that people who insist on having their own battery’s of guns, rifles, and ammunition for protection, really should consider moving somewhere else where they might feel more safe. After all, possessing all the weapons in the world cannot prevent gun advocates from being shot while crossing the street, praying in church, attending schools, night clubs, rock concerts or movies–anyone can add to the list. Then there’s the chance that they will be robbed when away from home, and their large catches of weapons could actually be stolen!

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