When gun-rights advocates point out criminals will always find guns, with or without regulations, that common-sense reality is ignored by the other side. So-called gun-control advocates keep demanding more laws and outlawing some firearms, such as AR-15s, as well as the magazines they use.
According to their own words, refusing to cave to their demands makes you responsible for the murders and bloodshed regardless of the circumstances behind tragedies like the weekend mall shooting in Allen, Texas.
“This is not the 'Texas Miracle' that [Governor] Greg Abbott likes to call it," Roland Gutierrez, a Texas state senator, told CNN after the shooting. "We’re living in the 'Texas Nightmare,' and it’s a nightmare that they created, the chaos that (Republicans) created.”
Tim Burchett, a Republican representative from Tennessee’s 2nd District, said on "Washington Watch" Monday that he sees a Democratic strategy in play.
“It’s an easy scapegoat," he told the radio program. "They’re blaming it on us when you remember when you left us in Congress the Democrats had the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives."
When the Republicans tried to improve school security, Burchett says, Democrats refused to cooperate when Sen. Marsha Blackburn introduced a bill to put police officers in schools.
“We tried to pass a bill," he recalled. "They blocked it, and I believe the president, his direct quote was, We’re coming after the guns. ”
'Symbolism' beats facts
Burchett says Democrats see every shooting as an opportunity to use their gun-control platform. They also use the issue to prop up a wobbly incumbent president in Joe Biden with a presidential election on the way.
"It’s symbolism," he insisted. "That’s what sells, and it’s hard to even get your story out. It’s pretty telling what’s going on. The Democrats use symbols very well."
Burchett said mass shootings “focus too on our situation with mental health in this country. We’ve talked about people under psychiatric care and things like that and taking certain medications yet every time you bring that up you’re called a conspiracy theorist. Frankly we’re seeing that.”
Opinions vary on the relationship between mass shootings and mental health.
Last year, Dr. Joel Dvoskin, a clinical psychologist of more than 30 years, concluded there is no link.
However, Dvoskin did call for better funding of public mental health professionals who might be able to intervene in a crisis.
“So, when somebody feels depressed, enraged, insignificant, they have access to a firearm, maybe they're drinking too much that night, maybe they just got fired and so on – it's like this perfect storm of despair,” Dvoskin wrote.
In an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times in 2018, co-writers Grant Duwe, the research director for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, and Michael Rocque, a sociology professor at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, established a link between mental illness and gun violence.
“In our research," they wrote, "at least 59% of the 185 public mass shootings that took place in the United States from 1900 through 2017 were carried out by people who had either been diagnosed with a mental disorder or demonstrated signs of serious mental illness prior to the attack.”
Mark Follman, the national affairs editor for Mother Jones online magazine, reached a similar conclusion in his piece in 2012 entitled “Mass Shootings: Maybe what we need is a better mental-health policy.”
"It is a crucial factor in these events, as our in-depth investigation into mass shootings at Mother Jones shows," Follman wrote.
Follman had more mass shootings research in 2018. His story relied heavily on an FBI report that noted troubling behaviors that could be linked in advance to mental health problems.
The FBI, in fact, touted a small unit of agents for their success in guiding potential shooters to mental health professionals. This allowed the FBI to disrupt or prevent an estimated 150 attacks in 2013.
Ultimately Follman wrote, “The study reaffirms that there is no useful demographic profile for active shooters.”
'Sick at our soul' vs 'get it done'
With constant images of crying survivors, police tape and emergency vehicles it’s hard for Americans to focus on the other things that cause tragic loss of life, Burchett said.
“These murders are horrible, and that’s what they are - just murders," he said. "We lose 100 people a day in auto accidents. Every 39 minutes we lose somebody to a drunk driver, yet nobody’s wanting to take alcohol or cars away from people.”
Abortion figures into premature death as well, and so does a man driving a van into a crowd of people in Brownsville, Texas.
Burchett said he was ridiculed in the media after the Nashville shooting when he responded to a reporter’s question with, “This country needs revival,” but he stands by that position.
“There is incredible evil in this world, and we’ve kicked God out of public places," he told "Washington Watch. "We’re sick at our soul. Preachers aren’t preaching the gospel anymore.”
The congressman has also criticized, and even vilified, for stating "we're not going to fix it" in response to the Covenant School shooting in his home state in April. His response was seen as a cold and heartless in light of the tragic deaths but Burchett has since said his point was more laws won't stop murder.
In a tense interview on CNN, Burchett was challenged by Jim Acosta (pictured above) to work with Democrats to "fix this" after so many mass shootings.
"Get together with the Democrats and get it done," Acosta urged.
Burchett, however, repeated his call for revival.
"I feel like we've turned from the Lord," he replied. "I know maybe that makes people's heads spin off when they hear somebody like me say that."
"There's Christianity in other countries and they don't have mass shootings," Acosta pushed back.
"Well, they don't have our freedoms either," the Congressman replied. "And they don't have a Second Amendment."
Despite critics accusing him of failing to take action, Burchett says the rhetoric from the Left, and from the mainstream media, is preventing serious efforts to curtail violence in America. That accusation will likely make more heads spin off, too, but the Congressman has not plans to back down.
“The reality is they’re going to yell at you in the media and they’re going to shout you down. I’m afraid we’re going to see more of this," he said. "You’re talking about the human condition and the hearts of these people. That’s really what we have.”