It’s the guns!!

Frum:

The crucial variable in mass shootings is not ideas but weapons. We cannot control ideas or speech and should not attempt to do so even if we could. But we could reduce access to the weaponry that converts ideology into atrocity. At least, other advanced countries find themselves able to do so. Almost every country on Earth has citizens filled with vitriol, but no comparably advanced country has a gun-violence epidemic quite like America’s.

Yesterday’s alleged shooter appears to be a white supremacist. If the next killer is Muslim or vegan, many of those now most eager to assign blame to the Buffalo suspect’s co-partisans will be anxious to do the opposite—and of course, those now most anxious to restrict blame to the alleged killer alone will next time be eager to spread the blame as widely as possible.

Racist ideology is an evil in itself. But the American exception that bathes this country in blood and grief again and again and again is not that we are uniquely susceptible to racism or jihadism or veganism. The American exception is the unique ease of access to weapons.

Condemn the words if you will, but understand what those words do and what those words do not do. To save lives, focus on what is taking lives. Americans die by the gun in such terrible numbers because Americans live by the gun with such reckless disregard.

Also, I haven’t seen exactly what type of assault rifle he used, but it was an assault rifle that killed 10 of the 13 people he shot.  That just doesn’t happen with a handgun unless someone is an extraordinarily good shot.  With an assault rifle, the damage is exponentially greater.  It is a weapon of war (not to mention the body armor). It is absolutely insane that we make it easy enough for a mentally unstable (de facto) 18 year old to get a weapon like this.  

And, yes, blood is on the hands of the politicians who perpetuate this situation. 

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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