Senator Mitch McConnell, flanked by every Republican elected official in the Senate and standing in front of a huge MAGA photo of President Trump, today presented the Republicans’ revised plan to end all gun violence. After a brief moment of silence preceded by the words “The thoughts and prayers of the Republican Party are with the victims and their families killed in the most recent incidents in El Paso and Toledo,” Senator McConnell began to read his prepared remarks. When interrupted by a reporter who shouted from the audience that the second massacre actually happened in Dayton, Ohio, McConnell responded that he was standing by his president but would “look into it.”
The plan, which has been offered before but without some of the important additions, is to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring all Americans over the age of 18 to be armed at all times and that any infraction of this law would be ruled a felony resulting in penalties of up to life in prison. In his short address he explained that this would create a deterrent that would result in the elimination of all mass killings and most gun deaths of all kinds.
“It is real simple,” the senator stated, “If you knew you would be immediately gunned down if you shot someone, you would keep your gun in your pocket or in the case of an assault weapon, on your back. It is like the MAD concept in nuclear war, mutually assured destruction, and that has worked just fine. We are still here, aren’t we? And besides, in every country where there is a universal gun-carriage law, gun deaths have been zero.” He cited several studies funded by the non-partisan NRA Foundation that supported his statement.
While the idea of “universal carriage,” not to be confused with “universal coverage,” has been around for some time, the new twist offered by the Republicans is to pass accompanying legislation that would require any person seeing a mental health professional for any reason to wear an orange arm band, so that everyone would alerted that someone wearing the band was a potential murderer and mass killer. Psychologists and psychiatrists and other mental health professionals would be required to report all patients and clients to the federal government.
“The president has spoken, and he is right,” said McConnell, “We do not have a gun problem in the U.S., we have a mental health problem. People who kill people are mentally ill. Requiring all mentally ill people to wear orange arm bands will alert others to beware and keep a hand on their revolver when they see someone who is mentally ill walking down the street. It is a brilliant idea and will assure our goal of zero gun violence. But this is not discriminatory. All the arm-banders, as they will be called, will still be allowed to carry weapons. In fact they will be required to. It would not be fair to exclude someone from carrying a weapon just because they wear an arm band.”
As expected the proposal received strong approval from the Trump base and rebuke by most Democrats. The president immediately weighed in with the tweet, “Hooray for Mitch! Keep the nutcases in line. Keep America armed and an end to all gun violence forever.”
The chances of getting the Constitution amended to require universal carriage is considered low as is the “arm-bander” legislation, which is expected to pass the Senate but be voted down in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
And so it appears that the United States will continue to slog along with more massacres and more condolences, more offerings of “thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.” and more tweets from the president that he single-handedly has made our country great again.