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John Minchillo/Associated Press, Dayton, Ohio, August 4, 2019

Message from the gun mob: I really don’t care, do u?

A sad case of Me pluribus unum

Jeffrey Denny

The definition of insanity is trying over and over again to get gun lovers and NRA-funded and -cowed Republicans to compromise on reasonable gun measures, and expecting a different result.

Even after the 24-hour massacres in El Paso and Dayton.

Forget facts, logic, reason or any appeals to head or heart. Forget concern for the innocent dead, wounded and traumatized. Forget the slaughtered children and uprising of fellow Americans demanding change. Forget the reasonable fear over the next shootings, which undoubtedly are brewing right now. None of that matters.

Also forget pointing out that Americans want to sensibly tighten gun laws. A clear majority favors preventing people with mental illness or on federal no-fly watch lists from buying guns, as well as background checks for private sales and gun shows, a federal data base to track gun sales and a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault-style weapons.

Unless you’re clinically paranoiac (if so, get help), none of these moderate, reasonable, common-sense solutions should spark any fear about protecting America’s world-leading gun rights.

Except that reasonable is now radical to gun militants that control the White House and GOP Congress.

They seem to care more about their guns and proclaimed Constitutional rights than the fears and demands of their fellow citizens. They attack the media and question the reporting. They defend the poor, victimized billionaire in the White House that succors and suckers them.

But gun militants won’t come clean and speak their truth — they just want their guns — because it sounds selfish. As if their unfettered gun rights matter more than your children’s safety at school.

So the NRA and its Taliban trot out all sorts of ridiculous arguments. You could give each a number, like in prison where lifers have heard all the jokes so many times they just shout “17!” and everyone laughs.

Top ten gun-defender jokes:

1. Guns don’t kill people, people do. After all these years, this joke still kills. Worse than when Rodney Dangerfield quipped, “My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” But seriously, folks.

2. Gun laws don’t work. They don’t stop killing. Bad people will use trucks, homemade bombs, knives, Louisville Sluggers, Sbarro’s pizza at the New Jersey Turnpike Joyce Kilmer Travel Plaza or late-night comedy.

3. Guns aren’t to blame — it’s mental illness, video games, or liberal Hollywood creating a culture of violence. Like liberal #MeToo poster child Harvey Weinstein’s “Kill Bill: Vol. 1.” How many people did Uma Thurman/“The Bride”/“Beatrix Michelle Kiddo”/“Black Mamba” kill? Never saw it but I suspect a bunch.

4. The answer is a good guy with a gun. Including a 70-year-old English teacher boring kids into coma about basic grammar, spelling and usage so they don’t sound illiterate on social media if they happen to become president or a die-hard supporter.

5. Semantics: Like a coffee cup before it beans a mate during a heated breakfast, there’s no such thing as an “assault” weapon before it assaults someone. Assault weapons, like beloved albeit criminal teens, are misunderstood. AR-15s are merely semi-automatic rifles designed for American troops to kill platoons of enemy combatants quickly, hence indispensable for civilians hunting Bambi, drunken sport shooting and protecting family from drunkenly confused neighbors that drop in mistakenly.

6. Slippery slope: Next thing, jack-booted liberal government agents will come and take away our guns. We need our guns to protect our defenseless guns.

7. The mentally ill have legal rights. The government can’t come in and seize citizen arsenals just because they’re spewing psychotic white supremacist venom on 8chan but are friendly to neighbors and mostly keep to themselves.

8. I’m not going to let some sanctimonious Parkland high school punks whose classmates were shot and killed or disabled for life before their eyes tell me what to think or do.

9. We need to enforce the gun laws we already have. Like stopping inner city gun violence caused by the free flow of cheap guns that the NRA and Second Amendment protects.

10. What part of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” from 1791, when the Constitution protected slavery and didn’t let women vote, don’t you understand?

The gun-lover jokes are tragically not funny.

It’s tragic that decent folks and their selected media mouth such clearly laughable bullshit with straight faces, even furious indignation, and declare that you’re stupid for not agreeing.

It’s tragic that they effectively support domestic terrorism, which beyond killing and maiming spreads fear that it could happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time — a school, a bar, a concert, a Walmart.

It’s tragic when, with each new shooting, a major concern of the NRA and hardcore members is how the liberals and their politicians and media will blame the guns and renew the call for controls, and how to clap back with the best snark and talking points for acolytes to parrot on social media.

It’s tragic that responses like “thoughts and prayers,” “hearts go out” and “deepest sympathies” — even uttered sincerely — are now eye-rolling memes, drained of meaning by hollow and robotic repetition, and insulting to victims and loved ones.

No wonder Trump — normally Twitter trigger-happy — and his Republican politicians were oddly mute for so long after the El Paso and Dayton massacres. At this point, words fail. And it must be tough to avoid saying anything that might sound like guns had anything to do with the 29 people shot to death and 40+ wounded.

But — aha! — salute law enforcement! That’s the ticket! There’s your NRA/right-wing media talking point and political cover. Repeat and repeat; it’s good stuff to parrot on social media. Even though many in law enforcement supports tighter gun limits and denounces efforts to loosen gun laws such as concealed carry because Blue Lives matter.

Also, accuse the accusers: “Liberals, gun control advocates, and 2020 Democratic presidential candidates wasted no time politicizing the mass murder tragedy in El Paso Saturday,” TheBlaze’s Millennial weekend editor Chris Enloe (“a follower of Jesus Christ”) posted just hours after the El Paso tragedy, wasting no time politicizing it. And missing the irony.

It’s tragic that the gun militants’ favorite politicians use these jokes to block sensible gun legislation that the majority of Americans sorely want. So much for democracy and majority rule.

And it’s tragic that President Trump and Congress know better. They know America wants action. But instead of having the courage to lead the country, they’re being led by a militant minority and NRA swamp lobbyist money.

Most of all, it’s tragic that resistance to even reasonable gun restrictions says something sad about America that’s destroying our politics, democracy and country.

It says, it’s all about me. I don’t care about you and the tragedies and solutions you care about.

It says I’m not willing to even try new laws that might make it harder for a disturbed domestic terrorist to shoot up a Walmart. Not if it’s harder for me to buy an AR-15 with a bump stock and large capacity magazine.

It says I have my rights. I have my facts and you have yours. I believe what I believe. I have my NRA-respecting president and Congress that defends liberty as I define it. I have my media that tells the truth as I see it. I’m a true-blue, white-pride, red-hat America-loving patriot.

And you’re not. Your facts are wrong. You’re a weak-minded liberal elite brainwashed by college, one of the poor “sheeple” misled by what the mainstream media wants you to think. Your congressman is a socialist. You hate America. And if I can’t answer your fancy college facts and reasoning, I’ll own you by playing victim, the ultimate trump card.

As for myself, I love America.

Long ago I served in uniform and had firearms training and duties. I’m a political moderate who’s worked for, and with, many Republicans I deeply respect.

So I don’t love when hard-line gun lovers won’t compromise even a little on sensible laws for the good of all, especially when innocent people are dying.

E pluribus unum is not just a great slogan. It’s what truly makes America the greatest.

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.

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