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After Uvalde

Against false powerlessness. Against teachers packing heat.
May 27, 2022
What Can Be Done About Uvalde & School Shootings | Not My Party with Tim Miller

[Editor’s note: Watch Not My Party every week on Snapchat.]

Steve Kerr: When are we going to do something?

Chris Murphy: Why are we here?

Angel Garza: How do you look at this girl and shoot her?

Tim Miller: This is “Not My Party,” brought to you by The Bulwark. We’re grieving another f***** massacre. Nineteen innocent little kids. Just look at them.

Fred Guttenberg: I don’t know what to say. . . . How many more times?

Miller: We all know what comes next: the same political doom loop, the same arguments, the same “thoughts and prayers,” tweeting the same Onion article.

Joe Biden: Enough prayers. Time for some action.

Miller: Look, I grew up a mile from Columbine. I was at a different school on that April day when thirteen kids were murdered in my hometown. It was unfathomable. That was 1999, before many of you were even alive. Now, s*** like that happens every damn week. We have the capacity to stop this. But to do so, we have to change the culture and the laws. I used to be a Second Amendment guy. I was for concealed carry. I bought the “good guy with a gun” BS. I know responsible gun owners. But eventually, reality dismantles the talking points. Look at this f**** chart. There’s us. No other country is even close. When they throw “America parties” in Poland, they have mass shooters there. That’s what they think of us.

Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum on Shameless): That’s a thing?

Miles Hahn (Richard Kline on Gilmore Girls): I’m afraid so.

Miller: From urban violence, first-person-shooter cosplay, to gun churches—no other developed country loves their little hand penises so much that they prioritize target practice over kids’ lives.

Mel Bernstein: I have over 4,000 weapons in my name. . . . Machine guns, mortars, bazookas, tanks, flame thrower. And everything I have is legal.

Miller: As for fixing the laws, here’s where it starts. One, a background check bill called H.R. 8 has already passed the House. Senate Democrats should take it up this week and dare Republicans to block it.

Mr. Gueermo (from South Park): Make by day.

Miller: Two, red flag laws. These are restraining orders that allow police or family members to ask courts to temporarily remove firearms from a dangerous person.

Liz Lemon (Tina Fey on 30 Rock): This seems pretty reasonable.

Miller: Three, restrictions on the purchase of military-style body armor. In Buffalo, the grocery store security guard fired at the shooter, but it was stopped by his body armor. Then the bad guy with the gun killed the good guy with the gun and nine other people.

Four, we need new legislation called the “Buffalo-Uvalde Act of 2022,” that bans the sale of firearms to people under 21. They couldn’t buy a Bud Light, but they can buy a f****** assault rifle? This is madness.

Childish Gambino: ♪ This is America. ♪

Miller: That’s four achievable proposals. I’d support more aggressive action, too, like banning high-capacity mags.

Biden: You think the deer are wearing Kevlar vests?

Miller: Exactly. Republicans are the only thing standing in the way of these reforms. But it’s worse than just obstruction. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott signed “constitutional carry” last year, making it easier for insane people to access weapons. Now, noncriminal Texans can openly carry with no license, no training, and—if it’s a private purchase—no background check.

Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller on Silicon Valley): What the fuck, huh. What the fuck.

Miller: After Uvalde, Texas’s attorney general, Republican Ken Paxton, said the right response is arming teachers.

Ken Paxton: We can harden these schools. We can arm and prepare and train teachers and other administrators to respond quickly.

Miller: How is this real life? The same assholes who say they’re trying to “protect” kids from “groomer teachers” assigning a book about gay penguins now think the way to protect kids from school shootings is letting Mrs. Jameson in homeroom pack heat? Are you fucking kidding me?

Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation): I wish I was.

Miller: In the face of all that, I understand feeling hopeless, like nothing’s gonna get done. Just listen to the unbearable grief of these parents waiting to hear if their babies had been slaughtered. We can’t do nothing. President Biden has experienced the loss of a child. He knows these parents’ pain.

Biden: To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away.

Miller: He can make the case to the American people that there are practical things we can do to help end this carnage.

Biden: When in God’s name are we gonna stand up to the gun lobby?

Miller: This is the time for leaders to act and for all of us to do our part, not just throw up our hands and do nothing once again.

Murphy: I’m here on this floor to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues to pass laws that make this less likely.

Miller: For the second damn week in a row, we’ll end by remembering the victims of a senseless and preventable tragedy.

Jonathan and Stephen Cohen: ♪ Columbine flower blue. ♪

Miller: See you next week for more “Not My Party.”

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.