What do you do when you see a bully on the street, beating up on the less fortunate? You take on the bully.
Today's bully is the NRA, and the right-wing hate they throw at anyone who fights to put preserving American lives over the Wayne LaPierre's slush fund. Thread:
1/ First, it's true I said right-wing hate. I don't want this to be partisan. I don't want to be partisan. But just because a bully is partisan doesn't mean you shouldn't take them on.
2/ As @LeadershipNP
has shown, the NRA overwhelmingly dominates all right-wing political giving. No one else on the right comes close, and no group on the left matches their scale.
3/ That means that for all practical purposes, you cannot win elected federal office as a member of the @GOP
without swearing obedience to the NRA - and anyone who dares call out the NRA's nonsense will be attacked by the worst elements of the far right.
4/ So we either choose to let Americans die, or we politicize this fight. I choose the latter.
5/ Now some statistics. First, the US has more guns than people. If we wanted to give every American a gun (and only one gun) we'd have to take AWAY 40 million guns. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/mapped-the-countries-with-the-most-guns/
6/ We are, in fact #1 in per capita gun ownership. If our goal was simply to get to the #2 country in gun access, we would have to take AWAY 121 million guns.
7/ If our goal was to get to be #3 - that is to say, to live in a country where it is just as hard to get a gun as it is in Yemen, we would have to take AWAY 190 million guns.
8/ In other words, you simply can't argue that any American's right or access to guns is in any way constrained. We have more guns than cars. That is excessive, and obscene.
9/ But what about the 2nd amendment? Well, read it. That part about a well regulated militia wasn't there accidentally. And then read Justice Stevens' excellent dissent in the Heller case. https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZD.html
10/ Yes, that wasn't the majority opinion. But you know what? Some times the Supreme Court gets it wrong. Just ask Dred Scott. And last time I checked, I represented a co-equal branch.
11/ The consequence of having too many guns is that too many people get shot. And 60% of all the gun deaths in the US are by suicide. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/16/what-the-data-says-about-gun-deaths-in-the-u-s/
12/ The US is not dramatically more prone to mental health and depression than other countries, nor are we particularly exceptional in the number of suicide attempts. But our excess of guns makes suicide attempts much more successful in the US.
13/ (That last table from Case & Deaton's magisterial & depressing work on "Deaths of Despair": https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/casetextsp17bpea.pdf
14/ It should be noted that most gun homicides are not at mass shootings, even though mass shootings stoke more public attention. But let's talk about those mass shootings for a moment:
15/ First of all, perhaps the only good thing about COVID is that it slowed down the rate of school shootings. It turns out it is politically easier to keep kids out of schools than to keep guns out of schools. Thanks, NRA. https://www.chds.us/ssdb/incidents-by-year/
16/ And do you know what the best predictor is that you're going to be a mass shooter? That you're a white male with a history of domestic violence. https://www.businessinsider.com/deadliest-mass-shootings-almost-all-have-domestic-violence-connection-2017-11
17/ Not foreigners. Not Muslims, nor any more "otherized" faith. Home-grown, domestic terrorists who have a propensity for beating women. Which is one more reason why today's news about the Trump DHS is so troubling. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/26/trump-domestic-extemism-homeland-security-401926
18/ Well what about self-defense? First of all, this isn't the wild west, and you aren't Josey Wales. The premise is so laughably stupid that I'm just going to leave it to comedians to rebut that one.
19/ BTW - the Australian buyback program after the Port Arthur shooting that Jeffries mentions? It's a real thing. And it really worked! https://www.vox.com/2015/8/27/9212725/australia-buyback
20/ By this point, some troll in my feed has likely said "well, what about Chicago?". Let's talk about that. Chicago, unlike NYC or LA is driving distance to Indiana and Wisconsin. And most homicides in Chicago are done with out of state guns.
21/ That's why I introduced the Gun Trafficker Detection Act which would require that anyone who legally owns a gun who fails to keep track of it and fails to report it missing shall be liable for crimes done with that gun. https://casten.house.gov/media/press-releases/casten-introduces-bill-reduce-gun-trafficking
22/ Now here's the thing. None of this should be controversial. Overwhelming majorities of Americans support assault weapons bans. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/07/poll-most-voters-support-assault-weapons-ban-1452586
24/ Passing those really simple laws would still leave us living in a country where we have too many damned guns. But at least it would make sure that we stop selling the deadliest ones, and that we try to keep them out of the hands of the wrong people.
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