Parkland Parent Preys Upon Boulder Survivors

Parkland Parent Preys Upon Boulder Survivors
(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

Losing someone you care about during a mass shooting is difficult. Few know quite as well as I do about it. It’s difficult, and even the most pro-gun person may have moments of doubt, wondering if whether they should re-evaluate their support of the Second Amendment.

But, eventually, people work through that one way or another. Many become convinced that gun control would have changed everything and start working toward it. Others, don’t.

Such is life, I suppose.

What bothers me is when someone writes an op-ed claiming they’re trying to “prepare” Boulder survivors, when it’s really just a gun control movement recruiting pitch.

Boulder residents will see a multitude of groups moving into their lives, mostly to help them get through this difficult time. Helpful organizations such as March for Our Lives, Everytown/Moms, Brady and more will be there to provide support. However, Boulder residents — particularly those who speak out against the open availability of guns — will be attacked by trolls and gun enthusiasts who have a well-worn playbook out of which to harass, intimidate and belittle.

Many years ago, the NRA was the nation’s advocate for gun safety and hunting.  The “Field & Stream” NRA turned into the “Call of Duty” NRA when they figured out that they could monetize the 2nd Amendment by co-opting the Republican Party.  Now,to protect their cash-cow, the NRA has a troll farm that cranks out these beauties all day.

Survivors, their loved ones, the loved ones of the murder victims, and activists in the community can expect the following from pro-gun activists and trolls:

See, here, the author, Jeffery Kasky is already framing many of us as trolls. He hedges by also saying this will come from pro-gun activists, but it’s clear at this is a blatant attempt to conflate the two.

Of course, he also calls anything our side does an effort to “harass, intimidate and belittle,” because we don’t simply roll over and play dead.

In other words, he’s not starting from a place of good faith.

What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

What part of “well regulated” do you not understand?  These last four words of the 27 words of the 2nd Amendment are the only words some of them see.

(A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.)

Oh, yes, we never hear this one.

Nor have we debunked this claim so much it’s freaking ridiculous. The term “well regulated” meant “properly functioning” and not gun regulations. Besides, even if it did mean what they imply, it’s regulations on the militia itself, not the firearms they were expected to own and maintain at their own expense.

Further, Kasky still didn’t address the “shall not be infringed” part. That’s still awfully damn clear.

It’s too soon to be talking about laws – time to let the families mourn.

This is a ‘kick the can down the road’ distraction from the minds of the NRA marketing team. The theory is that something else will happen before it’s the “right time” to talk about this, and the distance of time will distract and detract from what needs to be done (i.e. meaningful change).  It doesn’t take long to dull our senses post-tragedy.

No, it’s called trying to be a decent human being.

In the immediate aftermath of a shooting, as Kasky well knows, emotions are high and facts are often few. We generally don’t know anything.

Plus, yeah, people should be free to mourn without seeing the bodies of their loved ones used as a soapbox.

Laws won’t prevent shooters. There are already too many guns available.

The correct laws will prevent the wrong people from buying guns. Laws requiring insurance for gun ownership will get the insurance industry involved in cleaning up the mess.  A law requiring a psych evaluation (preferably repeated every year or two) would prevent at least some of this.  The fact that you’ve allowed guns to overproliferate in our country doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something to stop it from continuing.

OK, fine. Then we should also require insurance for journalists and a psych eval before anyone attends a protest. Words are responsible for killing plenty of people–Marx is kind of the master at this, really–so we can play this game.

What? The First Amendment?

Yeah, I agree, but the Second Amendment is still a thing.

All rights are rights and should be treated equally. There’s a reason we argue the Second Amendment is treated as a second-class right. After all, no one would tolerate similar infringements on any other right, yet they demand them here.

We need to complete the investigation; let the justice system play out.

Because this has worked so well in the past.  Again, delay tactics play out in their favor, as the national attention will die down and shift to something else very quickly.

Sure, let’s just ignore the fact that we don’t know anything. See, this is in response to people going on and on about how we need universal background checks or red flag laws to combat this kind of thing.

The problem is, at that time, we don’t know how they got their gun. Did they steal it like the Sandy Hook shooter? Did they pass a background check like the Boulder and Atlanta shooters? We don’t know, so how can you have a reasonable debate about policies that address a given shooting when you don’t know anything about what happened yet?


If there had been a good guy with a gun….  

A great marketing tool created in the NRA’s former marketing lab.  This was designed to sell more and more guns.  Everyone everywhere ought to have a gun, as if this would have a meaningful chance to prevent this type of tragedy.  Why not arm the bagboys while we’re at it?  Same logic as “arm the teachers.”

Oh, yeah, a good guy with a gun has never stopped a mass shooting.

It just happened in Sutherland Springs, TX.

Happened in White Settlement, TX.

It happened at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

It also happened at the Muhammed Art Expo in Garland, TX.

Those are just a few of the examples I can name, but there are many more.

Yet Kasky doesn’t want to admit any of these exist because that might undermine his tirade.

Now, let me skip a couple for the big finale.

“‘Assault’ is a verb, rifles don’t assault people.”  Also, “Define an assault weapon for me.  I’ll wait.”

There is a class of weapons referred to as “assault rifles.”  There are many different definitions of what constitutes an assault rifle, and these gun over-enthusiasts know it.  They’re trying to trap you into admitting that you wouldn’t know how to define this term, but don’t worry — neither do they.  It’s complicated, but the Clinton administration was able to institute an assault rifle ban in 1994, so ignore this distraction.  The “I’ll wait” part is designed to make them feel like they’re smarter than you are.  hey’re not.

It’s not complicated, it’s a completely made up term. The reason why there are “many different definitions” is because the phase “assault weapon” really means “gun I want to ban.”

Also, Kasky fails to note that the 1994 Assault Weapon ban was over cosmetic features, didn’t really stop the proliferation of these weapons–on the contrary, it made them even more popular–and didn’t accomplish a damn thing anyway.

To summarize, there are vile, sick people out there who fear that their perceived rights are going to be taken away, and that the only way to preserve them is to harass and intimidate you and people like you.  Don’t fall for it!  They’re full of bluster, but when push comes to shove most of them are just keyboard warriors.

You hear that, folks? You’re “vile, sick people.”

That’s from someone who wants to destroy your civil rights and set the stage for tyranny in this country. You’re the vile, sick one.

Yet what’s pissing me off the most about Kasky’s diatribe is that not only does he not present any meaningful support for his arguments, just firing off one-liners like he’s debating on Twitter, but he assumes that everyone who survived Boulder will agree with him. We know first hand that the father of slain officer Eric Talley believes his son wouldn’t want his name used to promote gun control.

He mocks “arming the bagboys,” but how many of those bagboys wished they’d had a gun that day? How many cashiers would have given anything to be armed?

Plus, of course, he never addresses how things would have unfolded differently had people inside the store been armed.

Instead, he just pretends that kind of thing never happens when I provide clear examples that it does.

Kasky, like so many other anti-gun zealots, doesn’t want the debate to get into facts simply because those aren’t on their side and he knows it. So, he wants to make it emotional and paint all of us as some kind of evil.

Well, Mr. Kasky, I’m not the one treading on your civil liberties, am I?