One of the ideas behind creating and maintaining the Skeptical Analysis blog was to provide a hint of clarity in a sometimes confusing world. A topic I treat on a weekly basis is the matter of gun violence in the United States, but despite all my efforts, there remain a number of people unclear. Some of them are elected officials in our highest offices. Take Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, for example:
Texas lieutenant governor blames abortions and violent video games for school shootings, but not guns
Updated 10:24 PM ET, Sun May 20, 2018
Patrick praised Gov. Greg Abbott’s plans for a roundtable discussion on how to protect students from gun violence after the nation’s latest school shooting
in Santa Fe, where 10 people were killed. “Everything ought to be on the table,” Patrick said.
Call me a bleeding heart liberal if you want, but I believe the LG has a point there. Suppose there were not a proliferation of guns about where just about anybody with a trigger finger could get his hands on one, and suppose you just had an abortion or else you spent the last five weeks binging on Street Fighter, then the inevitable would come to pass. You would have the insatiable desire to head back to school for the first time in days and gun down a few jerks who cut in front of you at the cafeteria. It would be no problem for you to dive down into your basement workshop and gin up a rapid-fire handgun with a 20-round magazine, and then those jerks back at school would be quickly short-listed.
Yes, this is the kind of thinking that goes on at levels well above my head. But there’s more.
Speaking Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Patrick repeated earlier arguments about eliminating some school entrances: “We need to get down to one or two entrances into our schools.” He added: “You have the necessary exits for fire, of course, but we have to funnel our students into our schools so we can put eyes on them.”
Wait. Wait! Didn’t we recently enact laws that would make Texas one of the safest places in the country? Didn’t we just make it legal for run of the mill pedestrians to openly carry some serious heat? By now it should be safe enough that schools would not need walls. In fact, shouldn’t that be the case in any circumstance. Shouldn’t society by now be so safe that school shootings are a bad memory? Shouldn’t some of our top elected state officials stop over at the Mayo Clinic to have their brains checked for worms?
The truth is crashing down on us. We were promised that a proliferation in deadly weapons would make us all safer, and the fact is that in places where gun ownership has become a right, sanctified by law, we have:
- A teenager shot in a scuffle perpetrated by a gun-carrying vigilante
- A man in a car shot by somebody in another car who objected to loud music
- A man shot in a movie theater in a confrontation involving popcorn
- Five Dallas police officers killed by a sniper
- Twenty-six people shot to death at a Texas church
- Seventeen people shot to death at a Florida school
- Ten people shot to death at a Texas school
I’m feeling safer already. Not really. I’m being facetious. Texas has Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Dan Patrick, Senator Ted Cruz, and Senator John Cornyn, all supporting the absurd notion that deadly weapons freely distributed will make us safer. What will make us safer is clearing out some of this dead wood.