I’m sorry the facts don’t fit your narrative: Guns edition

As HRC continues her walk of shame through the Republican gauntlet of stupid, I found two moments completely perfect in capturing how some people just don’t get it.

The first, and the funniest, was the exchange she had with Alabama’s Martha Roby (R-Darwin’s Waiting Room) in which Roby asked Clinton if she was home alone the night of the Benghazi attack. When Clinton responded that she was, Roby’s reply was golden:

“The whole night?”

This, of course, had Clinton laughing and Roby not getting it, which is to say she’s either a bible-thumping Alabama housewife who couldn’t conceive of how this sounded like a sex joke or just an idiot. If Clinton weren’t running for president at this point, I’m imagining her response would have been something like, “Other than the five times Jesuelle the Hot Puerto Rican Pool Boy came over for some hot fuck action, yes.”

The second and perhaps more telling moment was during her exchange with Ohio’s Jim Jordan (R-Thank God LeBron Came Back) regarding the root cause of the attacks. Jordan kept pressing forward with his view on why Clinton did something she clearly didn’t. Clinton kept correcting him until she essentially said that she was sorry that reality “doesn’t fit your narrative.”

Narratives are fun when they work for you, but in most cases, these are ascribed to fairy tales and simple stereotyping behaviors. They’re not meant for serious discussions on complex topics.

We’ve got a similar “doesn’t fit your narrative” situation boiling here in the Land of Cheese, in which an attempt is underway to allow concealed carry within university buildings. Two state legislators who are from parts of the state that lack heavy university ties, and whose district names look like attempts to cheat at Scrabble, are hot on the case, arguing that only a “good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.” Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) noted that the bill wasn’t in response to the shooting at an Oregon community college but rather something that has been in the works due to the rising violence near UW-Milwaukee.

Aside from the standard gun narrative, a second narrative here clearly emerges: Milwaukee, that urban hell hole full of “thugs,” “punks” and “ballers,” is unsafe for all those good, clean-cut college kids who feel their under siege and thus to level the field against all this violence, we need to let them carry at all times.

Of course, what we find out from the people who actually work and live near UWM tells a completely different story:

Concerned that a Republican lawmaker cited an uptick in violent crimes in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee neighborhood while proposing students and faculty be allowed to carry concealed firearms at campuses across the state, UWM officials have produced crime statistics they say contradict the lawmaker’s statement.

Milwaukee Police Department records show robberies dropped by more than 30% between Jan. 1, 2014, and Oct. 15, 2015, in the two neighborhoods that surround the UWM campus. Aggravated assaults were unchanged in one neighborhood, and were down 13% in the other neighborhood, according to the statistics.

In other words, the facts don’t fit the narrative. After meeting with UWM officials who told them as much, Kremer and LeMahieu decided to kill the bill, saying that the facts don’t support them and they understand better now the needs of students on campus decided to blame the media:

“We used UWM as an example because there were some issues there,” Kremer said Wednesday. “Singling out UWM didn’t come from me. It came from the media. I also discussed the fact our law enforcement on campuses do an outstanding job and our campuses are extremely safe.”

Right. The campuses are totally safe thanks to law enforcement, who by the way don’t WANT additional weapons on campus, and yet just in case we encounter a whack job who is bent on destruction, even though that’s not why we proposed this bill, we need other armed people around just in case, because, y’know… um… freedom! Fuck yeah!

I’ve made my position on guns very clear over the years, citing data and research and these things called facts. I understand that guns have their place and that hunters and collectors have the same right to their interests as I do to mine.

I also understand that the bill these two gentlemen are proposing has about as much to do with safety and security as World War II had to do with Hitler’s rejection from art school. This bill is like every other bill that is meant to prove to a certain type of voter that these politicians can be “tough” on whatever the issue is that will get that beaver-brained constituent to pull the lever for them.

It’s unlikely that the people who WANT to see guns in campus buildings have spent a lot of time in one. Even people who say they love guns, like the head of the University of Texas System, don’t want to see these things in the classroom for exactly the reasons normal people would expect: Accidents, fear of anger escalation etc.

However, to these legislators, it’s about the narrative: Guns save lives and we understand you people who want to save lives via guns and freedom. It’s a narrative that speaks to the basest of their base in the way that a law defining life-starting conception being the moment the man unhooks the woman’s bra speaks to that group.

It’s a game of “If you think THAT was totally right-wing, patriot-American, check out THIS thing I’m doing.”

However, look at this from a different perspective that also fits a narrative they love: Do you want those lazy, mentally incompetent, dipshit professors you keep battering with bill after bill carrying weapons in the classrooms where you send your children? I mean, if you all can pass the background checks and concealed-carry classes, so can we. Concealed carry is for ANYONE who goes into the building so imagine how much fun it would be for Governor Deadeyes’ kids to sit in a poli sci classroom, hearing about how badly their dad fucked up this entire state, wondering all the time if they stood up and said something, if they’d be facing a Sig Sauer.

Instead of arming your 21-year-old constituents, think about having someone at the front of the class who is armed, pissed off at your ilk and clearly unstable, someone who doesn’t like their “worldview” to be altered or their “authority” to be challenged.

And when Little Johnny reaches into his backpack in a quick and potentially threatening way to grab his phone, this professor, who is now told to believe that everyone might have a gun, has no choice but to empty his Glock into the kid. Of course, his aim might not be perfect, as these concealed-carry courses require no amounts of rigorous range time or shooting proficiency. Thus, Little Jimmy and Little Jannie and Little Suzy will also likely take some lead.

Hey, maybe you’re lucky! Someone else is carrying as well and takes out the professor before he kills any more people or can reload. Maybe that kid doesn’t accidentally shoot someone else either in the melee that is sure to follow, as students are all fleeing from a pit class with the calm and order of a group of feral wolverines on meth.

And at that point, anyone who isn’t dead or wounded gets to go home early from Peace Studies 104.

4 thoughts on “I’m sorry the facts don’t fit your narrative: Guns edition

  1. gratuitous says:

    I think the “escalation” possibility is given very short shrift. A couple of childhood friends were having a Facebook discussion about carrying, and it was polite and respectful for the most part. (After all the two had known each other for 40 years or more.)

    The pro-gun friend, who grew up three doors down from me, was very adamant that he should be able to carry anytime, anywhere, and detailed an incident where he said he was in grave physical danger from a group of guys. Based on our friendship back in the long ago, I didn’t have any reason to doubt Pro-Gun, and I knew him to be a non-belligerent, non-aggressive person (at least back in the day). Pro-Gun said that if he hadn’t been carrying that day, he would have been severely beaten if not killed, but having the gun allowed him to make his getaway.

    In the time since, I have wondered whether the confrontation Pro-Gun talked about might not have been defused somewhere along the line or if Pro-Gun might have simply walked away, but for the equalizer he had in his pocket (or holster, or wherever it was, I don’t care). There’s only one person on the planet who can answer that question for sure. Was escalation inevitable? Did Pro-Gun stay in the situation because he knew he could draw his piece if things got too dangerous?

    I’m glad my friend was able to extricate himself from the beating, particularly without shooting anyone, but I can’t help wondering.

  2. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Hey, if students can CC in class, then nuclear physics profs can wheel in an H-bomb, and park it next to the podium, amirite?

    It’s SO convenient having the state capitol within the blast-radius from campus, also, too.

  3. Peter Adrastos Athas says:

    Welcome back, Doc. Excellent post.

  4. Ricardo says:

    That is like my friend who lost part a finger between a rope and a winch on a sailboat. When he called his girlfiend from the emergency room to tell her about the accident she asked, “Is it the hole finger?” He replied, “No, the one next to it.”

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