Nine years ago Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana, admonished his fellow Republicans to “stop insulting the intelligence of voters” and to “stop being ‘the stupid party.'” Instead of taking that uncharacteristically sound advice, they chose to hitch their wagon to the Ignoramus Supremo, Donald Trump.
Today the Republican Party seems to be hell-bent on affirming its commitment to the crackpot constituency. They display a decided preference for baseless blather and flagrant lies, rather than facts and reality. And among the best representatives of that political strategy is Texas senator Ted Cruz.
On Tuesday Cruz visited with right-wing pundit Michael Knowles of the uber-conservative Daily Wire to discuss the gun reforms being proposed in the wake of the Uvalde massacre in Cruz’s home state. To no one’s surprise, Cruz conveyed his knee-jerk opposition to any of the common sense reforms that are so popular among the majority of the American people, and that his governor callously dismisses.
In an effort to grab the “Dumbest Member of Congress“ crown from Rep. Lauren Boebert, Cruz unleashed a ludicrous rant that is sure to put him in the running. Cruz said that…
“Taking away every firearm that Michael Knowles owns would not have stopped this psychopath from murdering children in Uvalde. And by they way, we see that in Chicago and New York and D.C. and California, where they have very strict gun control and the criminals still have guns and still carry out murders. If you could wave a magic wand and eliminate all firearms in America, there would be substantially more murders than there are today.”
“If you could wave a magic wand and eliminate all firearms in America, there would be substantially more murders.”
— Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) argues against gun control legislation in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas pic.twitter.com/9bSKM75u1b
— The Recount (@therecount) May 31, 2022
Cruz is absolutely right. Taking guns from Mr. Knowles surely wouldn’t have stopped the Uvalde murderer. However, national laws restricting access to assault weapons, mandating background checks, banning high-capacity ammo magazines, implementing red flag rules, etc., might very well have had an impact. It is just stunningly stupid for Cruz to make that utterly disingenuous suggestion about taking “all” guns away from a single right-wing blowhard. And while no one is proposing banning all guns, if that were to happen, only a world-class moron would believe that it would result in more murders.
Cruz is also absolutely wrong about the examples he gave of places where stricter gun laws are not having any effect. If he were to have done the slightest bit of research he would have found that the states with the most lax regulations are where the most gun deaths occur. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the ten states with the highest per capita mortality rate due to guns are…
- Mississippi (28.6 per 100k)
- Louisiana (26.3)
- Wyoming (25.9)
- Missouri (23.9)
- Alabama (23.6)
- Alaska (23.5)
- New Mexico (22.7)
- Arkansas (22.6)
- South Carolina (22)
- Tennessee (21.3)
That list tells a story all by itself. For the record, California and New York, which have among the nation’s strictest gun laws, rank at #44 (8.5 per 100k) and #46 (5.3 per 100k), respectively. These stats include fatalities due to suicide, which should not be dismissed out of hand. However, when only murders are counted, the rankings are nearly identical. What’s more, 79% of murders in the U.S. in 2020 involved a firearm.
Clearly, as revealed in a recent study, there is a direct correlation in states with weaker gun laws having higher rates of gun deaths. Furthermore, the study found that the need for national regulations is necessary because “Despite strong gun laws, some states still feel the effects of being close to a state with more lax regulations.”
All of this information was available to Cruz when he shot off his mouth. But he was too preoccupied with establishing his idiocy to care about being correct. And that’s true for most of the Republicans addressing this (and almost any other) issue. It would be a ripe vein for comedy if it weren’t for all of the corpses that are piling in our schools, grocery stores, temples, etc.
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