Translating the Gun Debate

At this point, most readers are well aware of the dual shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that have reignited the same debate over and over again. But I found that the deceptive use of some words by liberal politicians should be unpacked and understood in order to see the difference between grandstanding rhetoric and sincere discussion.

Toxic brew”: We can’t find any actual evidence or direct connection but President Trump is bad and this is bad so Trump caused this.

When liberals use this term they don’t have any direct evidence or connection between the violence and Trump’s rhetoric. Instead, they point to supposedly disturbing tweets, but since there is no direct causal effect they have to use terms like this to blame Trump. (See also “dog whistle,” another term used by Democrats when they can’t find any actual evidence of racist sayings but they wish to call Republicans racist anyway.)

Moral Clarity”: We have to be even more shrill and sanctimonious in our positions.

This one is rather ironic as Democrats seemingly exercise selective morality. They don’t want to stop criminals and human traffickers from taking advantage of the border crisis, they make excuses for criminals and gangsters, and they advocate for abortion up to the moment of birth (the Governor of Virginia even explained how his bill would allow infanticide). But they suddenly become moral paragons and quote the Bible when it suits them. So expect a surge of comments about morality from the Democratic Party, but remember their hypocrisy as well.

“Education moment”: Nobody believes our talking points so we will keep repeating them in our speeches and through our media allies until something horrible happens that we can connect this to.

The liberals have to have a great deal of arrogance to imply that they are teachers and the Republicans are just small- minded students that need to be scared straight. It never occurs to them that their policy proposals are meaningless and impotent, or that maybe Republicans have better ideas to stop the violence. To liberals these crises are just the climax of after-school dramas and Republicans are the surly teenagers that need to learn the lesson of their wise school teachers. (See also, liberals comparing themselves to Jedi Masters and various Republicans to the Emperor.)

Propaganda”: The coverage doesn’t echo our left-wing talking points.

Fox News is regularly attacked for not being real, often coined as “fake news,” when it only stands in contrast to the incredibly biased left-wing reporting of most media outlets. I didn’t find the coverage on Fox propaganda because it didn’t give unlimited airtime to the nonstop “moral clarity” (moral preening) found on other channels. But that doesn’t stop them from making toxic brew, like comparisons to mainstream media pundits like Tucker Carlson.

This is a good sampling of the rhetoric out there which is heavy on moral outrage, but seems rather eager to capitalize on this tragedy for political gain before the bodies of the victims are cold and in the ground, or we know more about who these shooters are and why they acted. People who wanted real change might recognize the sad repeating patterns of these events and, instead of offering the same tired responses and policy proposals that don’t go anywhere, might actually find common ground and meaningful legislation or even compromise to combat this problem. Instead, we are going to read the same arguments we’ve heard (using the language outlined above) over the next week or so until we move on to the next debate of the day.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Morgan Deane

Morgan Deane is a former U.S. Marine Corps infantry rifleman. Deane also served in the National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst. He is the author of the forthcoming book Decisive Battles in Chinese history, as well as Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon.

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