Stockholm Syndrome is the psychological phenomenon of captives beginning to identify with, sympathize with, or fall in love with those who are holding them hostage.
Watching the Republican reaction to the shooting of a group of their own on a suburban Virginia baseball field, I couldn’t help but think that it bears a strong whiff of Stockholm Syndrome.
For decades now, the gun industry has held the U.S. Congress hostage to its radical agenda. Its weapon is the National Rifle Association which enforces its will through the reams of cash they provide to political campaigns, the direct threats they make to those who oppose them, and the endless stream of expensive propaganda they shove down the throats of weak-willed politicians.
Money, threats, and propaganda, applied relentlessly over decades, has resulted in full identification with the NRA and its paymasters by some of the many political hostages, as we detailed in “Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA.”
And so we have a man with a long history of violent behaviors carrying a gun. We don’t know yet if the gun was legally obtained or carried but it hardly matters. The “system” designed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people in this country is little more than a sick joke.
Then the architects of that system fall victim to it and they respond with inane, NRA-programmed talking points like “I should have been packing.” The Democrats are saying it is not the right time to take up gun violence prevention legislation, still.
Meanwhile, their captors, the gun industry, and their sales force, the National Rifle Association, are laughing up their sleeves. They spent millions upon millions in 2016 to keep their hostages loyal, and it paid off this week in the bloodiest of ways.