Yesterday, I briefly touched on Jimmy Kimmel's latest foray into political activism on his late night comedy show. He's branched out from literally repeating Democratic talking points on healthcare to...repeating Democratic talking points on gun control. It's as original and inspired as it is funny and entertaining -- which is to say, not very. In Tuesday's monologue, Kimmel responded to critics of his Monday monologue (talking at them, not engaging with them, of course), suggesting that gun rights advocates secretly know that they "bear some responsibility" for what happened in Las Vegas. This is an unsurprising but disgusting smear, as the anti-gun Left tends to traffic in disgusting smears. But in his original gun control lecture, Kimmel made the point that if the Vegas monster had been a radical Islamist, Republicans would be jumping through hoops to do whatever it took to prevent another terrorist attack:
I’ve been reading comments from people saying, ‘This is terrible, but there’s nothing we can do about it.’ But I disagree with that intensely, because of course there’s something we can do about it. There are a lot of things we can do about it. But we don’t. Which is interesting, because when someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls, we take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can do about that.
At National Review, Charles Cooke notices Kimmel's fundamental contradiction: "There’s a glaring problem with this line of reasoning, and it’s a problem that undercuts his entire spiel. That problem? That Kimmel is in fact opposed to “our” responses to those dastardly “people with beards,” and on the grounds that they don’t work. By his own admission, Kimmel is not in favor of Trump’s travel ban, and he’s not in favor of Trump’s wall. To Kimmel, in fact, these policies serve as solid and mockworthy examples of the sort of ill-advised, knee-jerk reactions that we tend to see in the aftermath of tragedy," he writes. Ah yes, conservatives would move heaven and earth if it were brown people with beards attacking us, but when it's merely Americans shooting eachother, we're content to do nothing. Cooke's colleague Jim Geraghty and others are highlighting a similar line of argument from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman:
I don't understand this attitude— PoliMath (@politicalmath) October 4, 2017
Y'all do still remember the Orlando massacre, right?
It wasn't that long ago pic.twitter.com/PKCl02Ijpq
"Friedman writes: 'If only Stephen Paddock had been a Muslim … if only he had shouted 'Allah akbar' before he opened fire on all those concertgoers in Las Vegas … If only he had been a member of ISIS…" And here's Piers Morgan chiming in with the same mind-numbingly dumb point:
What the hell are these people talking about? We've had not one, but two, high-profile mass shootings carried out in the name of ISIS since late 2015. Less than a year ago, radical Islamist terrorist Omar Mateen shot up a gay nightclub in Orlando, shouting "Allahu Akbar" and pledging allegiance to ISIS in 911 calls as he murdered 49 innocent people. Less than two years ago, two jihadists shot 14 people to death in San Bernadino, again in the name of ISIS. In order to make the preposterous case that Republicans would be tripping over themselves to enact gun control measures if only the Las Vegas perpetrator had been an Islamist rather than a white man, one must completely forget or ignore two very prominent mass shootings perpetrated by Islamists within the past two years. Kimmel, Friedman and Morgan all fancy themselves the moral betters of those knuckle-dragging Americans who don't support gun control, sneering that perhaps these awful bigots would have a sudden change of heart if the perpetrators of hypothetical mass shootings were scary Muslims, not white dudes. But that's not a hypothetical proposition. It happened. Twice. Very recently. And Republicans maintained their principles on gun rights in each case, much to the outraged chagrin of people like Kimmel, Friedman and Morgan.
Seriously, was there not a single writer on Kimmel's show, or a single editor who looked at Friedman or Morgan's pieces, who may have thought of the screamingly obvious, narrative-obliterating counterexamples that instantly made their contentions look asinine and ignorant? Maybe on tonight's show, Kimmel will muse that perhaps Republicans might finally alter their stance on guns if they somehow found themselves as the victims of a mass shooting one day. Can you imagine something like that ever happening, Jimmy? On a totally unrelated note, there's this:
He must be just another bought-off "coward," right, Senator Murphy? I'll leave you with this development, which suggests that a reasonable gun regulation we discussed yesterday may have a bipartisan path forward: