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Apr 4, 2023

“We’re not going to fix it,” was how Rep. Tim Burchett answered when asked about a potential role for congress in addressing the relentless school shootings plaguing America. The Republican, three-term U.S. House member from Tennessee gave the comment only a few hours after last Monday’s deadly shooting in Nashville. 

Two attributes of the pro-gun crowd are troubling me. The first one is evidenced by Burchett’s additional comments last week when he said, “I think you got to change people’s hearts.” This defeatist tone from the gun freedom crowd is familiar. Shootings like last week are now regularly described as an act of “evil.” 

As empty as “thoughts and prayers,” evil is now the insurmountable phantom used by those not interested in “fixing” any of it. It’s the GOP justification to not bother trying. 

The second attribute is broader, but also easily identifiable. It’s called “hyper-individualism.” Though this permeates much of our politics and culture right now, it is most visible in the gun fights. Pro-gun Americans try to avoid saying things like “the death toll by guns is the price of freedom.” But it is this deeply expensive freedom, specifically, that supports gun manufacturer’s production of the tools being used to kill our kids. 

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