It's a trick. When people tell you that you shouldn't politicize a tragedy like the shooting in Aurora, Colorado they are unwittingly helping to spread NRA propaganda. After a tragedy like that, it is the most logical thing in the world to ask what went wrong and how we can fix it. When you ask that question, the obvious answer is our gun laws. It's awfully hard to stab 70 people and kill 12 of them in a short period of time like that. It's very easy to murder those same people if you have an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and two glocks.
This is the obvious conclusion that the NRA desperately wants you to avoid. So, they do a brilliant trick where they tell you that you are not allowed to talk about the problem in the immediate aftermath of the violence and death their guns caused -- that would be politicizing the tragedy.
They know that after a certain amount of time passes people are going to move on anyway and never get back to the issue. Big news events are when people are motivated to action. That's exactly why Republicans and the NRA don't ever want you to talk about guns after a big news event like this. They figure that within a week people will get distracted and the gun manufacturers they represent can go back to making money off of weapons that murder us.
No one is a better authority on this than Colin Goddard who was shot four times at Virginia Tech and now works for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. You can see the emotion on his face here as he asks the best question about the conversation we need to have about guns in this country: If not now, when?
You also need to remember that this is not about gun owners versus the rest of us. Most gun owners believe in reasonable regulations on guns. Did you know that people on the terrorist watch list can still buy guns? Most NRA members are against that insane policy, as the rest of us are. So, why does it exist? Because the NRA doesn't represent gun owners, they represent gun manufacturers! That's who pays the bills at the NRA and their motivation is to sell as many guns as possible, no matter how ridiculous or how murderous.
We should be really proud -- we're #1 in ...
1. The number of guns per capita. 90 guns for every 100 people. Yemen is a distant second at 61.
3. The number of child deaths because of guns. Nearly 3,000 kids are killed by guns every year.
And gun manufacturers cheer on! What is their response to all of this? They send out their Republican minions to say that the answer is more guns. If only other people in the crowd had guns, then everything would have been alright. Yes, because in that dark, smoke filled theater if there were more than two or three shooters everyone would have known who was the original shooter and less people would have been shot, right?
How would the third gunmen know if the second gunmen were part of the team that was shooting the place up (like Klebold and Harris at Columbine) or one of the guys trying to prevent it? Let alone the fourth or the fifth gunmen, let alone the cops who show up.
So, why do people like Rep. Louie Gohmert blame the victims and tell them things would have been OK if they had all brought their guns, too? Because Gohmert gets money from the people who make money when you get murdered.
One last note on whether tragedies like this get politicized or not. How many times have you heard conservatives say that we had to torture people because there might be a situation in which there is a ticking time bomb? In this case, James Holmes literally set a ticking time bomb in his booby-trapped apartment. Yet, there was no talk of torturing him, or taking away his rights, not giving him Miranda warnings, indefinitely detaining him or calling him a terrorist. Are you sure the same thing would have happened if his name was Mohamed al-Abdullah instead of James Holmes?
If the shooter was Muslim, do you think you would have heard any Republicans saying "let's not politicize this tragedy." They would have been screaming about terrorism the minute the story hit the airwaves. In fact, they would have been so knee-deep in politicizing it that we might have invaded another Middle Eastern country by now.
How will Trump’s administration impact you? Learn more