Following the latest mass shooting by a responsible gun owner — the killer had no criminal record and purchased at least two of the guns legally in Nashville — Tennessee Republicans are offering the expected prayers and thoughts, although none of the thoughts include reducing the nation’s ample supply of firearms.
As Yr Wonkette noted earlier, brand new member of Congress Rep. Andy Ogles, who only won his seat thanks to Republican gerrymandering, is getting dragged a-plenty for his Christmas card demonstrating his family’s devotion to the Prince of Pieces. We’ll just add that the caption on that December 2021 image was all about the divine power of guns, and we are not making this up: “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”
We aren’t sure it quite matches the meter of Mel Tormé’s “The Christmas Song,” but that’s certainly a Christmas wish! And it was so: The atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere is with America not only during the Sacred Baby Season but also all year long.
While Ogles hasn’t been in Congress long enough to vote on any gun bills, in his previous job as mayor of Maury County, Tennessee, he signed a March 2020 resolution declaring the county a “sanctuary community” for the Holy Second Amendment. That doesn’t mean a damn thing at all in practical terms, but it’s a symbolic statement that if Tennessee ever passes a “red flag” law (it hasn’t), maybe the county would just let people making violent threats keep their guns. Stalkers need to defend themselves, too! And now, if Joe Biden tries to take all the guns, the guns can take refuge in Maury County, where people will presumably hide them just like Anne Frank’s family.
Ogles yesterday tweeted a brief statement saying, “My family and I are devastated by the tragedy” at the private Christian school in his district, with the usual thoughts and prayers and an assurance that he was “heartbroken by this senseless act of violence.” The replies were mostly pictures of the Christmas card, with a variety of commentary: “This you?” “We see you,” and the evergreen standby, “Fuck you.”
As it happens, then-mayor Ogles signed his 2021 gun sanctuary resolution just a day after Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced his own plan to allow all Tennesseans to carry handguns — openly or concealed — without a permit, meaning they’d no longer need to take a tyrannical safety class or pass any tyrannical criminal background check (other than the tyrannical federal one required to buy a gun). That law passed easily, and Lee signed it into law later in 2021, and now Republicans in the Tennessee Legislature are considering broadening it to allow open carry of all “firearms,” including assault rifles, instead of just handguns. Very important for the atmosphere of firearms to include people walking around on the sidewalk with AR-15s at the ready.
Lee tweeted an inspiring suggestion that Tennesseans join him in prayer, for all that’s worth.
Lee has been very busy protecting Tennessee children this session — not so much from being shot at school but from seeing drag shows and also criminalizing gender affirming healthcare for trans kids so they can be forced to go through puberty as the gender they don’t identify with, which will make them stop being trans anymore (except for how that doesn’t work). Research keeps showing that when trans and nonbinary youth receive gender-affirming medical care, the appallingly high suicide rate among trans kids can be reduced by as much as 73 percent. But as long as they ignore all the warnings, forcing unwanted puberty on trans youth probably won’t have any risks that Republicans would worry about.
As ever: If you are having thoughts of suicide or self harm, call the national Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who’s benefited from more than $1.3 million in total spending by the National Rifle Association over her House and Senate career, did a routine “heartbroken” tweet, thanking first responders, but without “thoughts and prayers,” possibly for the sake of avoiding cliché.
Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg offered a thoughtful revised version for Blackburn, a sort of “War Prayer” explication of the unspoken half part of her tweet:
Let me re write that for you.
Chuck & I are heartbroken to hear about the shooting at Covenant School in Nashville that was enabled by NRA puppets like me who are willing to let kids be fucking slaughtered so long as the NRA continues giving me millions.
Singer Roseanne Cash offered her own thoughts for Blackburn. Her tweet lacked any prayers:
Don’t even. You vote against every common sense gun control bill that comes across your desk, you’ve taken over $1 million from the NRA and you rank 14th in all Congress for NRA contributions. Spare us the hand-wringing @MarshaBlackburn
Possibly the most honest reaction to the shootings came from Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tennessee), who told reporters at the US Capitol what he and fellow Republicans would do to solve gun violence: Not a damn thing, because criminals will always find a way to get guns, like walking into a firearms dealer and buying one.
“It’s a horrible, horrible situation,” Burchett said. “And we’re not gonna fix it. Criminals are gonna be criminals and my daddy fought in the second world war, fought in the Pacific, fought the Japanese.” From that, the elder Burchett’s taught his son that “if somebody wants to take you out and doesn’t mind losing their life, there’s not a heck of a lot you can do about it.”
We aren’t sure whether Burchett is depressed or just lazy, since he didn’t even invoke the mythical “good guy with a gun.” He’s certainly not going to try to stop the massacres anyway, because government and laws are useless. Quite the argument to keep him in the lawmaking business, no?
No, there’s nothing Congress can do either, don’t be silly, because criminals are unstoppable lawbreakers: “I don’t see any real role that we could do other than mess things up.” He did point out that there’s one way to end mass shootings, though:
You gotta change people’s hearts. You know, as a Christian, as we talk about in the church, and I’ve said this many times, I think we really need a Revival in this nation.
That said, Rep. Burchett has an “A+” rating from a leading anti-abortion group, because you can definitely legislate away women’s reproductive freedom without waiting around for the filthy sinning strumpets to find Jesus and mend their ways.
Oh, and as for the safety of his own children, Burchett explained that’s not a problem, since his daughter is homeschooled and will never have to worry about her safety. Rest of you people are on your own, the end.
[Daily Herald / Tennessean / NBC News / Brennan Murphy on Twitter]
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