Will the Chiefs parade shootings inspire enough Republican voters to make a change?


Will the Chiefs parade shootings inspire enough Republican voters to make a change?

On Ed

LZ Granderson

February 15, 2024

Do you know why this country has a problem with mass shootings? For the same reason, they would probably have an octogenarian president during the next administration.

Both President Biden and former President Trump are old, as in “both men lived before the start of the first Arab-Israeli war, kind of old.” Polls show that their age is a concern for many Americans. The results of the primaries so far show that this isn’t affecting many people’s votes.

This contradiction illustrates why it is almost impossible to do anything meaningful about our gun problem.

On Super Bowl Sunday, a 7-year-old boy was seriously injured during a shootout at a Houston megachurch. On Wednesday, the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory parade turned into another gun nightmare: one death,

more than 20


Polls show most Americans want more laws to prevent mass shootings. The results of the primaries so far show that this does not affect the votes of many people.

A critical mass of conservatives will support any candidate endorsed by the National Rifle Assn. through fear


The Democrats are trying to take away everyone’s guns, which is not happening. What is really going on is a fear-driven and irrational arms race. Americans are collecting assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which no citizen should own and which inevitably fall into the wrong hands. Now every corner of American life is a potential location for a mass shooting: houses of worship, elementary schools, the mall, every public gathering.

In a Shakespearean twist, one of the few places you won’t find a gun is an NRA convention. Members accept a gun ban when big names like Trump appear. When the Secret Service said so


no guns allowed, the lobbying group has not labeled the policy as an attack on Second Amendment rights. The organizers said okay.

The NRA knows what the polls say. Most Americans, including most Republicans and most gun owners, have long supported common-sense gun laws that could prevent many mass shootings. But the gun lobby cares more about how people vote than how they respond to polls. Republicans aren’t concerned enough to favor sensible candidates when there are pro-gun absolutists on the ballot.

It’s not that there aren’t Republicans who support common sense gun laws. They just won’t make it to November.

You know who does?

The kind of candidate who likes to hold guns in campaign ads. The kid who would cut funding for mental health programs and then lament the country’s mental health problem after a mass shooting. The politicians who make it to November are the ones who make weapons of war easy to buy. Those politicians only really become silent when the guns they support are used to shoot children.

Out of concern for public safety, we have decided to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the opioid crisis, and yet we are not doing the same for gun manufacturers. Out of concern for public safety, we have decided to limit the number of over-the-counter allergy pills someone can purchase, but we sell an endless supply of bullets to everyone.

We have accepted having our genitals inspected at the airport because a terrorist tried to detonate explosives in his underwear fifteen years ago. And yet politicians act as if it is difficult to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

How exactly do Republican leaders want to protect us if they abdicate responsibility? They act as if we would be better off if we did that


of people drinking in bars had guns and or


people walking into churches were armed to kill.

This fear-driven arms race is so beyond reason that there is a mass delusion that we can fight our way out of the mass shooting epidemic. Is there a proposal that could actually work? Well, the gun lobby is dismissing it as a defeatable threat to Second Amendment rights. That’s how the thinking goes.

If we can even call that thought.

More than 200 Republicans voted against raising the age limit for purchasing an assault rifle from 18 to 21. Apparently there’s a sweet spot where people are too young to drink beer but old enough to buy military weapons.

Much like our electoral habit of voting for the presidential candidates we say are too old for the job, in the wake of mass shootings we continue to seek answers from elected officials who tell us there is nothing they can do.

We can’t send our kids to school, the movies, or even a Super Bowl parade that’s overrun with over 800 law enforcement officers

without worrying about weapons. That is not a safer life. That’s living under siege. Public shootings are part of our lives because while most Americans say we worry about guns, conservatives aren’t concerned enough to vote for Republicans who want to do something about it.



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