Kellyanne Conway Warns "Liberals and Socialists" Not to Confiscate Guns, Even Though No Dems Are Proposing Banning All Guns
September 15, 2019
MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH
In November of 2017, after a mass shooting in a Texas church that has largely faded from memory due to their frequency, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway reacted to the call for gun control by denouncing those who would “politicize the event.” The deaths of 26 people, half of them children, at the Sutherlands Spring Baptist church evoked standard gun lobby and Republican pushback memes in response to calls for gun control.
According to the HuffPost Conway condemned a,
rush to judgment, particularly by people who just see politics and Trump derangement in every single thing they do, it doesn’t help the victims, and it’s disrespectful to the dead.
[Conway said she was] very happy President Trump is our commander in chief and our leader ... because, unfortunately, every president has to help heal the nation at different times, different tragedies.
This is standard operating procedure for “gun rights” politicians, the NRA, other pro-gun groups, and the gun manufacturing industry: don’t “politicize” mass shootings by calling for gun control and don’t “disrespect” the victims and they’re families.
About the same November, 2017, shooting, the fanatically pro-gun Ted Cruz said, according to HuffPost:
You know, it is an unfortunate thing that the immediate place the media goes after any tragedy, after any murder, is politicizing it. We don’t need politics right now.
It is tragically ironic that, as of September 1, Texas gun guys can now carry guns into churches. That is representative of the Republican response to our national love affair with guns and normalization of gun violence.
As to the recent mass gun murders in Texas and Gilroy, California, Conway cast blame on the political left. According to The Hill, in an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Conway diverted attention from the issue at hand, gun control that most Americans support:
We’re not going to allow bad actors who should not have firearms in the first place to be the excuse for a bunch of liberals and socialists to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens who have legally procured them….
I’m not going to allow people who are constantly maligning and deriding our law enforcement to be in charge of public safety [and] public policy.
Never mind that Beto O’Rourke has only proposed a government gun buyback for specific military-style assault weapons, Conway is using the fear tactic mastered by the NRA that liberals, if allowed in the White House, will confiscate all guns. This was such a fear, egged on by the gun lobby, about Barack Obama that when he was elected, there was a run on gun stores for guns and ammunition.
Another inevitable gun lobby and Republican response to gun slaughter is a solemn call for prayer. As Sarah Palin famously said (although she was talking about Obama), “How's that hopey, changey thing working out for ya?” Clearly, prayer in response to gun slaughter isn’t reducing the carnage.
In response to the El Paso and Gilroy white supremacist shooting last month, I wrote a commentary entitled, “Spare Us the Perfunctory Prayers, It Was Trump Who Weaponized the El Paso Mass Murderer and the One in Gilroy.” In it, I accused Trump of being an accessory to murder for inciting white supremacists to lash out with violence against the “infestation” of America by non-white immigrants.
Although Trump’s response to gun slaughters follows a predictable cycle of dangling the possibility of meaningful gun control to the press, he always ends up backing up “Second Amendment rights.” This essentially bestows guns with the equivalency of corporate personhood. In this scenario, guns have “rights” equal to people.
The underlying assumption behind Conway and Trump’s inevitable siding with the NRA has to do with two practical political realities for the Trump 2020 campaign and down ticket GOP races. First, the NRA contributed $30 million to Trump’s 2016 campaign, and has been a top donor to Republicans around the nation for three decades or more. Even though, the organization is going through scandals of its own making, it is still likely to be a powerhouse of funding for Trump in 2020.
Moreover, the NRA members and supporters are a key component of the Trump voting base: aging white males with racial “grievances.” Given the Trump 2016 campaign’s advanced ability to digitally target voters, it is highly unlikely that Trump would support any gun control that the NRA opposes. There is almost nothing in the way of gun control that the fanatical pro-gun group supports, so Trump may tantalize the press with possible gun reform, such as background checks for all gun buyers including private sales, but he’s most likely to back so-called “red flags” laws.
Red flag laws reinforce the GOP-Gun Lobby argument that mass shooters are mentally ill. Red flag laws would allegedly ferret out early warning signs of persons mentally unstable and alert authorities that such persons need to be monitored or committed for psychiatric care. In large part, this standard response of the GOP-Gun Lobby that mass shooting carnage is a product of deranged individuals would not only be ineffective, it would wrongfully stigmatize individuals with mental health challenges.
Conway probably understands all this, but she is a shameless Trump shill. In trying to throw shade at “liberals and socialists” in regards to gun violence, she is also echoing a key GOP talking point for 2020. That is to say that the real threat to the US would be the election of “liberals and socialists” to the presidency, Congress or at the local level.
The real threat, however, remains the unchecked flood of guns in the US (many of them hi-tech military models with large capacity ammunition clips) and a president of the United States who incites white supremacist mass shooters and has created a breeding ground for grudge violence.
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