Washington Monthly Blogger: ‘Gun Nuts’ Too ‘Irrational’ to Understand Meaning of Reagan Assassination Attempt

Starting with the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, several mass shootings have brought about considerable debate regarding restrictions on access to firearms for the mentally ill. The Washington Monthly’s D.R. Tucker argued last Sunday that denying guns to “deranged individuals” should have been a special cause for conservatives long before -- specifically, since March 1981, when John Hinckley tried to assassinate President Reagan.

“You’d figure that the folks who worship Reagan like he’s a second Jesus would have been so shocked by the attempted murder of their hero that they would join progressives in calling for comprehensive gun reform, to make sure no deranged person could ever do something like this again,” wrote Tucker. “Of course, you’d figure wrong.”

After noting that Reagan couldn’t have declaimed “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” in 1987 if he’d been killed six years earlier, Tucker opined, “That fact alone should have motivated rational conservatives to support strong gun reform…but there are no rational conservatives in this country, just wingnuts who don’t get it and never will.”

From Tucker’s post (bolding added):

Here’s a sign of just how irrational America’s gun nuts are: they don’t seem to comprehend the importance of keeping firearms out of the hands of deranged individuals, even though the man they consider an icon was almost killed by one.

March 30 will mark the thirty-fifth anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s near-assassination at the hands of John Hinckley...

…At that point, there should have been an aggressive national push to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill—a national push that would have saved countless lives.

Yes, the Brady bill, endorsed by Reagan in 1991, became law in 1993—but so much more shold have been done. So much more needed to be done.

You’d figure that the folks who worship Reagan like he’s a second Jesus would have been so shocked by the attempted murder of their hero that they would join progressives in calling for comprehensive gun reform, to make sure no deranged person could ever do something like this again. You’d figure that conservatives would embrace gun reform as a “pro-life” measure. You’d figure that terrorism-obsessed right-wingers would support gun reform in order to keep ISIS loyalists from shooting up Christmas parties.

Of course, you’d figure wrong.

Just think about how twisted the right-wing mind is: conservative lore holds that Ronald Reagan single-handedly conquered the Soviet Union and won the Cold War. How many times have your Fox News-watching acquaintances pointed to the June 1987 “Tear Down This Wall” speech as an example of Reagan’s strength and smarts?

Reagan would not have been able to deliver that speech—or “win” the Cold War—had he been murdered by a crazed man with a gun in 1981. That fact alone should have motivated rational conservatives to support strong gun reform…but there are no rational conservatives in this country, just wingnuts who don’t get it and never will.

Communism Congress Crime Culture/Society Guns Conservatives & Republicans Washington Monthly History Ronald Reagan Mikhail Gorbachev


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