Normally, anything Lauren Boebert says can be taken with a grain of salt. You could even take it with a grain or two of bath salts, since chewing off strangers’ faces in an Arby’s parking lot is far preferable to scrolling through Boebert’s Twitter feed for more than a few soul-eviscerating moments.
Her response to the killings in Norway, while typical for her immoral ilk, are no exception.
For the nontweeters:
LAUREN BOEBERT: “A man in Norway just killed a bunch of people with a bow and arrow. Norway has some of the strictest gun laws around, yet mass killings still occur. Liberals need to understand it is not the gun – it is the criminal who commits the act!”
Note how carefully Boebert chose her words. She states that “a bunch” of people were killed by a guy with a bow and arrow. It was five. Five people, which is of course, a tragedy, but I’m not sure that can be called a “bunch.” Then again, Boebert isn’t exactly a credible source.
More telling is how Norwegian officials reacted to this—like the leaders of a country that who don’t see mass gun killings nearly every day because they’re too chickenshit to pass sensible gun control measures. At a news conference, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said, “The reports coming from Kongsberg tonight are horrifying … I understand that many people are afraid, but it’s important to emphasize that the police are now in control.”
If only we had the luxury to be this solicitous every time five people get murdered by a rando marauder in the U.S. Then again, five people getting murdered here is a pretty rare event—the butcher’s bill is usually much, much steeper. Imagine, for instance, if this attacker had had an assault rifle—like Stephen Paddock, the October 2017 Las Vegas mass shooter, did. Paddock killed 58 people and injured nearly 1,000, and he didn’t even have to learn how to use a bow and arrow, which is presumably far more difficult to master than an AR-15.
Norway’s strict gun laws seem to be working, as Shannon Watts of Everytown’s Moms Demand Action pointed out in a response to Boebert.
For the nontweeters:
SHANNON WATTS: “There were a total of 25 murders in Norway in 2018; in America, 16,214 people were murdered in 2018, mostly with guns.
Yet this is a common tactic among the dough-headed right. Whenever people are killed in a horrific mass shooting, they just point out all the other things that are dangerous, too—even if they’re not nearly as dangerous as guns, which they love to say “don’t kill people.”
As The Guardian noted in 2015, this approach is typically the third step in the conservative mass shooting playbook, right after “silence” and “thoughts and prayers” and before pivoting to a wrong-headed and typically ableist focus on mental health and the final step of figuring out how to leverage any given tragedy into their personalized flavor of rhetoric.
Consider how Breitbart’s Washington political editor, Matthew Boyle, responded to the December 2012 Newtown elementary school massacre, of all things—he managed to merge multiple steps from the playbook into one appalling tweet.
For the nontweeters:
MATTHEW BOYLE: “Let’s regulate knives too. You can’t have steak knives in your kitchen anymore because a crazy person may stab someone with it.”
Yup, because outlawing knives would have totally prevented that gun massacre. I mean, it’s just common sense. Next thing you know, liberals will want to regulate anthrax and ricin, too.
While guns are not rare in Norway, they’re far more strictly regulated there than here. That’s true of most other countries—which is part of the reason why we remain such an extreme outlier when it comes to mass killing events.
But, hey, Republicans like Boebert aren’t in Congress to offer solutions. She’s there to … you know, I’m not actually sure what she’s trying to accomplish. It’s like her rural (but changing) district elected a Furby who plays nothing but old Rush Limbaugh radio bits.
In other words, she’s got nothing valuable to contribute—unless she’s finally ready to submit her resignation, that is.
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