Three reactions to this week's school shooting, the 27th of the year (despite this being only week 22 on the calendar). First, from Josh Marshall:
The “good guy with a gun” theory was always absurd. These events make that all the more clear. But this is a bit more than that. In both these incidents armed police officers or security guards exchanged gunfire with the perpetrator. But they were outgunned. The assailants had more powerful weapons and they had body armor that allowed them to absorb gun shots and return fire. These aren’t cases with a mythical armed good samaritan. The cops are there, armed and on the scene, and they’re losing in fire fights with the assailants.
When you combine high powered rifles and body armor, these guys are close to unstoppable, at least at first. That’s not their only advantage. These shooters have all accepted that they’re likely going to die within minutes. They also, by definition, have the element of surprise. Unless police have a decisive advantage in firepower and defensive equipment, the shooter is always going to have a big advantage in those engagements.
Second, from James Fallows:
The “originalist” conceit that Americans’ birthright is to be armed with AR-15s is lethal bullshit. You don’t have to have been around at the time of the Founders to know that. You only need to have been a working reporter, or sentient human being, as recently as the 1980s, when I happened to have done a hugely long Atlantic article on how the AR-15 was designed.
You can read the article here. Its central argument is that the AR-15 is an even more effective weapon-of-death than the U.S. military’s M-16, which was derived from the AR-15 and first put to serious use in Vietnam. Don’t believe it? Read the article, and the Congressional hearings it cites. Or check the footnotes in this recent post.
Gun control hasn’t ‘failed.’ Specific people have blocked it.
Many people have played their part. But none has mattered more than Mitch McConnell. I made the case in detail here, after the Parkland gun massacre.
The children and teachers of Uvalde are the latest who deserve a vote. As do the families of Buffalo, and of hundreds of other places.
Will they get it? Mitch McConnell is still there, with 50 members of his bloc, to say No.
“When in God’s name?” Joe Biden asked this evening. When in God’s name.
Third, from the governors of Texas and Illinois, when the former tried to smear my city to deflect blame from his own party's actions:
Taking the stage at a press conference today flanked by U.S. senators, law enforcement and other officials, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was asked about gun laws in other states. “I hate to say it,” Abbott said, “but there are more people who are shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas.”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, was quick to respond to Abbott’s remarks with an extended Twitter thread.
So we'll get "thoughts and prayers" from the Republican Party, then the National Rifle Association will go dark for a couple of days, then nothing will change. Because a large minority of people in this country fantasize about armed conflict and don't want the deaths of a thousand children to keep them from their guns.