Gun culture and opposing views following series of mass shootings leads to GOP culture war

Gun culture and opposing views following series of mass shootings leads to GOP culture war
Ted Cruz // Gage Skidmore

Although the United States has suffered two mass shootings in a two-week span, Republican lawmakers are still clashing on the real reason behind the deadly shootings. While a select few are advocating for stricter gun control laws, the vast majority of them have attempted to blame everything but guns.

According to The New York Times, their division on such a critical issue has led to what's being described as a Republican "culture war." In a new op-ed Paul Krugman, condemned the words and actions of Texas Republican lawmakers following the Uvalde, Texas school shooting as he used them as examples of the big problem.

"The reliably awful Senator Ted Cruz attracted considerable attention by insisting that the answer is to put armed guards in schools, never mind that Uvalde’s school system has its own police force and officers seem to have been on the scene soon after the shooter arrived," Krugman wrote.

He later highlighted the concerning remarks made by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R). Krugman wrote, "The worst and also most chilling response came from Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas. What we need to do, declared Patrick, is 'harden these targets so no one can get in, ever, except maybe through one entrance.'”

"Actually, if you take the proposals by Cruz, Patrick and others literally, they amount to a call for turning the land of the free into a giant armed camp. There are around 130,000 K-12 schools in America; there are close to 40,000 supermarkets; there are many other venues that might offer prey for mass killers. So protecting all these public spaces Republican-style would require creating a heavily armed, effectively military domestic defense force — heavily armed because it would face attackers with body armor and semiautomatic weapons — that would be at least as big as the Marine Corps."

On the other side of the country, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is also facing scrutiny for his failure to address the shooting in any capacity. Patricia Brigham, who serves as the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence president, recently weighed in on DeSantis' reservations. Speaking to The Pheonix, she said, “Why he’s remained silent, I couldn’t say. It’s unusual, but we know this is political football. It shouldn’t be, but it is."

Mac Stipanovich, a long-time political consultant who switched parties following the Trump era, also weighed in to say why he believes the Republican governor has remained silent.

“Whenever there is the slightest chance that he will profit politically from taking a public stance, he will light himself on fire. Whether it's masks, vaccinations, the misrepresentation of critical race theory, calling people who opposed HB 1557 [the Parental Rights in Education or “Don’t Say Gay” law] groomers, it’s not that they’re tongue-tied,” Stipanovich said.

He continued, “But whenever there’s any possibility that a vote in the right-wing base might be lost, there’s deafening silence."

Despite all of the debates on gun laws, Krugman likely offered the best projection of the complex intraparty Republican war.

"I think everyone realizes that none of what Republicans are saying about how to respond to mass shootings will translate into actual policy proposal," Krugman wrote. "They’re barely even trying to make sense. Instead, they’re just making noise to drown out rational discussion until the latest atrocity fades from the news cycle."

He added, "The truth is that conservatives consider mass shootings, and for that matter America’s astonishingly high overall rate of gun deaths, as an acceptable price for pursuing their ideology."


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