Right now, the NBA is catching a lot of flap about China. They brought this on themselves, of course, by laying the smackdown on a team official who voiced his support for protestors in Hong Kong.
Since then, a number of personalities have been asked about their stance on the topic. Most have simply argued that they don’t know enough about the situation to offer any thoughts on the topic. Apparently, free speech and freedom in general is just too nuanced a discussion for people who don’t hesitate to open their mouths on any number of other political topics.
One of the most vocal on the subject of guns, for example, is the coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr.
Kerr is a vehement anti-gunner who has opined on gun control numerous times. I mostly have left him alone because of a couple of factors. One is that he talks at a time when there’s enough other news that I don’t want to give him that kind of attention. The other is that his father was shot and killed by a radical Islamic assassin in 1984. His view on guns is a little skewed, but I kind of get it.
However, Kerr was also asked about China on Thursday, and what he responded with…
He’d have been better of to just stay quiet.
Steve Kerr on if he’s ever been asked about human rights during his previous trips to China:
“No. Nor has (America’s) record of human rights abuses come up either… People in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall.” pic.twitter.com/56mNC7LmID
— Sam Hustis (@SamHustis) October 11, 2019
His initial answer to the question is fine. No one has asked him. Great. That’s all he needed to say.
But Kerr goes on to argue that somehow the issue of mass shootings in the United States is somehow comparable to the horrific human rights abuses China has become famous for. It’s not.
Tiananmen Square, for example, wasn’t the result of Chinese citizens in their privately owned tanks deciding to squish some peaceful protestors. No, it was a government crackdown on free speech. The same is true of the countless other examples of Chinese atrocities that range from organ harvesting to human trafficking. They’re herding Uighurs into concentration camps, for crying out loud.
While mass shootings are awful–and yes, I use the term “atrocity” to describe them for very good reasons–those who perpetrate these acts are criminals. They’re treated as such. They either die on the scenes or are tried to the fullest extent of the law. When convicted–and let’s be honest, they’ve universally been convicted so far–they don’t get slaps on the wrist.
We take it seriously and punish those who commit these acts.
Unlike China where their atrocities aren’t even acknowledged by the government.
Then again, maybe Kerr is trying to imply that the issue is that we simply have AR-15s, that our government doesn’t bar us from owning effective means of self-defense. Well, some in Hong Kong would likely disagree.
Kerr had the option of just answering the question and leaving it there. Instead, he tried to spin it to discuss his opposition to the Second Amendment. So not only does he remain silent on a totalitarian regime–for good reason or not–but he then tries to paint us as the bad guys? That’s rich.
But then again, it’s not like we should expect intelligent conversation on the topic from the sheltered child of an academic who has never had to hold down a real job before.