Nashville, Guns, and McMorris Rodgers
She cannot get there from where she is
Last Monday, April 3, Cathy McMorris Rodgers held a “Conversation” at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley. Starting at around 21:00 in the video, McMorris Rodgers confirmed what everyone already knew—no matter how fearful she might say she is about the safety of her own children, she will never, ever cast a vote in Congress or work toward any legislation that would limit the availability of assault weapons. She says she is “doing everything [she] can”—on background checks and mental health and school resource officers. Her “everything” emphatically does NOT include an assault weapons ban (or any other limitation on gun ownership or carriage) because “the 2nd Amendment is about individuals being able to protect themselves and their property.” Apart from her misunderstanding of the history (and plain words) of the 2nd Amendment, I find it ironically laughable to imagine McMorris Rodgers defending her home with an AR-15.
I sense a sea change in the national mood in the wake of the Nashville school shooting—a sea change to which McMorris Rodgers and her ilk best take notice. Could it be that it requires three 9 year olds (and three adults) to die in a shooting at a private, mostly white, Christian school to spark broad empathy? The Nashville Covenant School shooting is an example of the failure of everything on which McMorris Rodgers wishes to rely. Covenant School had undergone “active shooter training” in 2022. It mattered, but only by limiting the number who died. When the shooter arrived on the scene, thanks to the killing power of modern assault weaponry, six people lay dying or dead within six minutes. Unlike at the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, police officers did not hesitate a moment. They were on the scene in Nashville and “neutralized” (a euphemism for “shot dead”) the shooter in just fourteen minutes. I have seen no evidence that the shooter had ever sought consultation with a mental health professional (so much for McMorris Rodgers’ current talking point) nor did the shooter have any trouble legally acquiring the weapons of war with which to rip apart innocent people.
The response of Republicans in the Tennessee State House of Representatives? Classic. Vote to expel three Democrats, two black men and a white woman, from the House for bringing “disorder and dishonor to the House” after they protested the lack of legislative response to the shooting. As Heather Cox Richardson accurately detailed, these are loud echoes of southern states’ legislative actions at the end of Reconstruction.
Even Garrison Keillor, usually a writer of warm, self-deprecating humor, couldn’t help himself. He weighed in with commentary and a link to YouTube police body camera video—video that is enough to make you weep that people like McMorris Rodgers cannot even consider legislation that would significantly curtail such incidents. She cannot get there from where she is.
Doug Muder, writer of “The Weekly Sift”, wrote an impassioned column last Monday that ought to be a must read for every American. Please click and read “I am radicalizing against guns.”
We’ve been through this so many times that the truth has become very clear: Some people will never see. They don’t want to see.
So last Monday, I didn’t feel any hopefulness in myself or see it in others. Instead, what I felt and saw was anger.
Muder’s piece is breathtakingly accurate and richly referenced. It should be homework for every American.
McMorris Rodgers will never “get” it. She is incapable of understanding the vacuity of her stance. It is time for her to move on.
Keep to the high ground,
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