When it comes to mass shootings, something that has become epidemic across America over the last decade, Republicans generally offer condolences that get less sincere by the day and then do all in their power to change the subject – knowing that the media has for years never really bothered to press them on it. They’ll do truly insane hurdles by blaming the shooting on “mental illness” even while they actively cut funding for mental health, or blame it on America being a secular country, a lack of doors, or broken homes – and then they’ll reverse the messaging and accuse anyone who wants something done to prevent another tragedy of wanting to repeal the Second Amendment.
For some time, changing the topic from guns and mass murder to freedoms worked – rallying conservatives while also getting those people in the middle and the media to change the conversation accordingly. When President Biden spoke on Thursday about the most recent tragedies, he decided to turn this canard on its head: There’s freedom to own guns but what about our freedom to not get shot? How come no one ever talks about that?
“Machine guns have been federally relegated for nearly 90 years,” Biden pointed out. “This is still a free country. This isn’t about taking anyone’s rights. It is about protecting children. It is about protecting families. It is about protecting whole communities. Is about protecting our freedom to go to school, to a grocery store, to a church, without being shot and killed.” He used the opportunity to call for common sense gun measures – red flag laws, an assault weapons ban, and raising the minimum age to purchase – but this is a crucial way that Democrats need to change the conversation in order to bring about effective gun control legislation.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making