We all know that guns are a contentious issue here in the United States. It’s more so after a mass shooting takes place. If kids are the victims, that gets turned up to 11.
So it’s not surprising that people are getting into shouting matches over gun control.
What’s a little surprising is when members of Congress do it in public.
Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie and New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman got into a shouting match outside the House floor on Wednesday over gun control.
Massie stopped to speak to him, asserting that schools with permissive gun regulations have not faced school shootings. Bowman then grew visibly angry and moved closer to the Republican, gesticulating emphatically.
“Carry guns? More guns lead to more deaths!” Bowman yelled, prompting Massie to retort that every school that has permitted teachers to carry has never suffered a mass shooting nor an accidental discharge.
Massie wisely disengaged and then had Bowman follow trying to keep the argument going.
Kind of juvenile, if you ask me.
Massie, however, was completely correct. We’ve never had a mass shooting in a school where the staff was able to carry firearms.
Now, is that because of the guns themself or that despite the gun control rhetoric, mass school shootings are actually pretty rare and schools that permit armed staff are also rare? I’ll acknowledge that might play a factor.
However, Bowman didn’t ask that question. He didn’t want a debate on the subject. What he wanted was to try and embarrass and shame his colleagues into supporting gun control. The problem, as Massie pretty much pointed out, is that there’s ample reason to oppose gun control as a mass shooting strategy.
The situation isn’t as simple as people like Bowman want us to believe.
But what Bowman wanted to do wasn’t to learn or even educate. He is part of that stream of gun control Democrats who somehow think they can shame Republican lawmakers into passing anti-Second Amendment regulations.
That’s not nearly as likely as he and his fellow travelers might like to believe.
Moreover, the fact that Massie opted to engage is important because it made it clear that pro-gun lawmakers weren’t ashamed or lacking in facts. Massie repeated this on Twitter.
He wanted to discuss solutions to school shootings, but when I offered a solution he began shouting. When he asked for data, I gave him data, but then he just shouted more. Bring facts. There’s never been a school shooting in the hundreds of schools that allow staff to carry. https://t.co/jInj4GHBDL
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 30, 2023
Sure, there are grounds for debate over Massie’s data (which I happen to think is accurate and relevant, by the way), but Bowman didn’t want debate. He wanted capitulation. He wanted Republicans to tuck their tails between their legs and vote as he was instructing them to vote.
That’s not how it works.
The first thing people like Bowman need to understand is that there’s a reason many pro-gun lawmakers are pro-gun and it’s not because the NRA pays the bills, as so many gun control advocates like to claim. It’s because gun control doesn’t make a lick of sense when you look at it critically for more than half a second.
Frankly, I’m glad Massie engaged with him. This way, the story isn’t that pro-gun legislators were somehow afraid to debate or discuss the issue with Bowman. Instead, it’s an anti-gun lawmaker throwing a temper tantrum and trying to potentially start a fight.
My money would have been on Massie.