February 18, 2018

I'm not sure if Amanda Carpenter is having a great enlightening, or if the events in Parkland, Florida, have hit too close to home as a mother. But either way, there's something startling about having a reliably conservative talking head reject the standard conservative talking points we get after every mass shooting.

On the State of the Union panel discussing the gun control debate, Carpenter sounded much more aligned with Jennifer Granholm and Bakari Sellers than her conservative co-hort Andre Bauer. While Bauer feigned concern for the senseless deaths (gun deaths now the number three cause of death for children in this country), he also was quick to pull out the "Well, [this suggestion for gun control] wouldn't address ALL the shootings so why even bring it up?"

And that's what Carpenter wasn't having any of. "There's a false debate we keep getting trapped in, and we can't do one thing because it won't solve all the problems." She continued, taking a direct slam at Bauer, "I keep hearing, 'this won't stop this shooter or that shooter.' That should not prevent Houses or Congress from taking individual steps like increasing ways to make sure background checks are executed. Republicans should be enforcing the law, and to do anything that helps enforce existing law should be on the agenda."

Sadly, none of Carpenter's fellow Republicans in office have interest in enforcing the laws; they've been easing legislations instead.

And none of them speak to the true problems, rather opting to get distracted by questions of mental illness or autism being a causative factor. Most of these mass shootings have been at the hands of angry, disaffected white males. And since banning white men from purchasing guns is hardly practical, there are other commonalities that may help: most of these shooters had previous run-ins with the law for domestic abuse or harassment of women. A significant percentage have also been charged with the abuse of animals in the past. So perhaps a way to minimize risks is to prevent men with records of abuse from getting guns--and ENFORCING it. In Canada, in fact, a country with access to guns and relatively few gun deaths, it is the WIVES who must sign off on their husband's purchase of a gun, including ex-spouses.

Can you imagine the horror for an American man, steeped deeply in the toxic masculinity that tells him that shooting others is the answer for his own rage, having to ask his wife for permission to get a gun?

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