Mass Shootings versus Terrorism

We’ve seen the countless mass shootings occur throughout the country, and we’ve seen the GOP basically shrug, time and again. Their big answer has been more people with more guns. And yet, in responding to the attack in Paris, their tune is very different.

Keep the refugees out. Only let Christians in. Track all Muslims. Troops in Syria. And, of course, at least one suggested that the French should have carried more guns.

Numerous governors, including those whose states have witnessed mass shootings, have said they will refuse to allow Syrian refugees admittance to their states.

What is the deal? Are terrorists’ bullets scarier than mass shooters’? Is it that the terrorists constantly agitate and announce their desires, where we don’t hear about mass shooters until after the fact? Are terrorists more effective than lone shooters?

Honestly, a lot of it seems to come down to ideology over ideology. Terrorists, it is thought by the GOP, are built of terrorist ideology, something that is infectious, something that could spread. They don’t have enough of a grasp on mass shootings to say whether there is any contagion there.

They see a terrorist like they see a weed in the garden. If the weed stays, it will choke off everything, spreading itself. But they see mass shooters as a rabid dog, wandering into the garden, stomping on the flowers, but once you catch it or kill it, it’s contained.

But to someone outside the GOP ideology, this just seems bizarre. You have terrorism here, with these mass shootings, which they won’t lift a finger to stop. But you have these other acts of terrorism, and suddenly they can’t do enough to prevent it. They want to move heaven and earth to stop refugees.

The solutions aren’t really much clearer for dealing with terrorism. But the implementation, who deals with it, and the types of rallying cries the GOP can give differ quite a lot. For example, they could offer free guns to Americans for every Syrian refugee admitted. They haven’t, but I doubt it will take them long.

Dealing with terrorism and refugees will be a job for the military and federal law enforcement organizations. Preventing mass shootings would likely require at least some local intervention, possibly some gun control measures. Anything that burdens gun owners just can’t rouse the same sort of energy from the GOP.

Anyway, I just think it’s an important instance of hypocrisy to keep in mind. The political convenience and inconvenience are very important factors in what happens with an issue, and it just so happens that Americans love guns a lot more than refugees.