Beginning with a quote from Johnson, it assembles phrases that have worked well to bury the vast majority of mass shootings in the United States — including the more than 600 recorded in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive — in pious nonsense, logical contradiction and legislative inaction. Please copy and paste as needed.
In the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting, you say:
If the mass shooter uses an AR-15 to kill children in a public school, you say:
But if children are massacred in a Christian school where they have just prayed (or worshipers are killed in a church, mosque or synagogue), you say:
If no police or armed security personnel were inside the school during the mass shooting, you say:
If armed staff, police officers or security guards were present but were unable to halt the massacre, you say:
If the mass shooter has a history of mental illness, you say:
If the mass shooter has no recorded history of mental illness, you say:
If the killer’s weapons were legally obtained, you say:
But if anyone suggests the existing laws are not sufficient, you say:
If you are asked why the United States is a global outlier in gun violence, you say:
If you are pressed for solutions and can no longer avoid proposing action, you say:
If families or communities who have lost loved ones are demanding change in government’s approach to gun safety, you say:
If you have run out of all excuses and have no response left to mass shootings beyond a shrug, you say:
But after any firearm massacre, you never say:
America has more firearms than people, a gun homicide rate 26 times the rate of other high-income countries and notoriously weak gun laws that make us a global outlier. The United States stands alone among peer nations in the number of children dying by firearms, and guns are now the No. 1 leading cause of death of children under 18 in our country. Ninety-seven percent of Americans support a universal criminal background check on all gun purchases, a measure that could save a lot of lives.
It’s time to pass the universal background check and restore the expired ban on military-style assault rifles, which was constitutional and effective. Weapons of war are unnecessary for hunting, recreation or self-defense in the home, which are the purposes of individual gun ownership outside of military service protected by the Second Amendment.
Gun violence is a massive threat to innocent life and limb, a horrific burden on our country and a danger to the social contract in America. The time for action was long ago.