It’s not just the guns. It’s the Republicans.

by | Aug 30, 2023 | Editor's Blog | 8 comments

On Monday, my community saw the results of Republicans’ dystopian view of the world. Around 1pm, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill issued an alert, telling all students to shelter in place. An armed and dangerous man was on campus. Within minutes, the town was shutdown. Law enforcement from across the region flooded onto campus. News video showed officers in bulletproof vests moving around campus with guns drawn.

For the next three hours, students stayed hunkered in classrooms and university buildings, unsure of what was happening. Rumors abounded. At one point, somebody posted that two people had been shot. Others described a man being apprehended and then released. Facts and details trickled out slowly. 

After three hours, the lockdown ended. The mass shooting that so many feared had not occurred. Instead, we learned that a graduate student had killed his professor. He was taken into custody in a neighborhood north of downtown. We still don’t know the motive.

The shooting occurred just a day after an avowed White supremacist killed three people in a Dollar General Store in Jacksonville, Florida. Upon hearing gunshots in the classroom, most people assumed that the shooter was out to kill as many people as possible. Given the frequency of mass shootings in America, why would they think otherwise? 

Republicans created this reality. They’ve spent 30 years fighting any reasonable restrictions on guns, telling us that guns make us safer. They said that high death rates are the price of freedom and that they’re just protecting the Second Amendment. They have forced us to live in their demented view of our country, a place where danger lurks around every corner and our neighbors are as likely to be threats as friends. 

We clearly are not safer. Gun violence is as high as it’s been since the early 1990s. Murder rates and suicide rates with guns reached near record highs. Guns are the leading cause of death among children

As for protecting the Second Amendment and our freedoms, that’s just bullshit. The Supreme Court has consistently agreed with reasonable restrictions on guns. Republican legislatures have lifted restrictions, not the Constitution. In North Carolina, the GOP has stripped away numerous restrictions to purchasing firearms, making them far accessible to the people who should not have them.

And as for freedom, I don’t think being ordered to shelter in place by officers of the state makes us more free, even if the orders might make us more safe in the midst of a crisis. Ask somebody locked in a classroom for three hours how free they felt.

For thirty years, Republicans have been telling their base that Democrats are coming for their guns. It wasn’t true. Instead, they flooded the country with easily accessible firearms, making weapons manufactures the biggest benefactors of their policies. They told us that if guns were outlawed, only outlaws would own guns. What they didn’t tell us is that their policies armed a whole lot of very bad people and have made sure that dangerously mentally ill people have easy access to guns. Today, we have more guns per capita than any other country and it’s not even close. 

Republicans make all sorts of excuses. One person yesterday blamed the spate of gun deaths on gun-free zones, but the Dollar General Store wasn’t a gun-free zone. Nor was the shooting in El Paso, Texas, or Buffalo, New York, or Virginia Beach. The killing in Uvalde took place while police sat outside the doors of classrooms. An armed cop was on duty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. 

Other Republicans blame our mental health system despite cutting resources for mental health and reducing the number of counselors in our schools. In reality, their policies have virtually insured that anybody, no matter how disturbed, can easily access a gun. They have done nothing to prevent the spread of violence and as much as they could to enable it.

So it’s not just the guns. It’s the Republicans. 


  1. Wayne

    Since several of readers believe that private ownership of a firearm is akin to a grievous, mortal sin, perhaps you would enlighten us all, and explain to us in great detail why the private ownership of a firearm is so detrimental to peace and security??? OH–and please, DO tell us what your solution is, too! Try to make it brief…

  2. Gregory Weeks

    If you want to learn the truth about America google “Racial Justice Institute.” What we learned about our history in school is more aptly described as “his story” rather than truth. Example: Adolf Hitler look to America when creating his genocidal policies in Nazi Germany. Don’t believe me — google it. Systemic, structural and institutional racism is woven into the fabric of America as well as gender bias. Always has been. The goal from the get go was to create a hierarchical society with white males (with power and money) to control every aspect of life. So, you can rely on “his story” i.e., the TARZAN verison of history, or you can find the truth and work to create a more equitable society in our country.

  3. Laura Reich

    Great editorial!

  4. JB

    Funny thing… we already have more guns than people in the US, and odd as it may seem… more people get shot here than anywhere else int he world. It’s almost like every other country on the planet has figured out the connection between a proliferation of guns and proliferation of gun… deaths.

    But please, do go ahead and pull out the one off here in this case as proof that we don’t actually have an average of more than one mass shooting Every. Fucking. Day. Just another couple of ammosexual trolls scouring the internet for comment sections to spew ignorance into. Because the only winners in these Hunger Games are the gun manufacturers, who get reach off making you soil yourselves in fear.

  5. Morris

    This guy broke several existing gun laws. As a foreign national, he is prohibited from owning or transporting a firearm. He also broke laws on bringing a gun into a school building. Obviously this guy wasn’t obeying current gun laws so why would he obey new gun laws you wish we had?
    Innocent unarmed people getting shot by deranged criminals does not motivate me to disarm myself. If fact it does the opposite.

  6. DL Etheridge

    Mr Stevens, To what “hyped up messaging of a phantom mass killer on campus” do you refer? The Alert Carolina message from 1:03 p.m. on 28 August reported “…an armed and dangerous person on or near campus.” The one at 2:24 p.m. directed people as follows: “…Remain sheltered in place. This is an ongoing situation. Suspect at large.” The one at 3:14 said this: ” …Stay sheltered in place until all clear. All classes & events cancelled for today.” The all-clear message came at 4:14. I believe the preceding is a fair summary of the messaging. You can check yourself at .

  7. Andy Stevens

    This was a targeted assassination and affected virtually no one else on campus except those taken in by the hyped up messaging of a phantom mass killer on campus.

    It’s simple. Gun free zones are not gun free. Sociopaths and malcontents intent on mayhem seek out such places with abandon, knowing they’ll have time to accomplish their evil deeds. Its time to end the madness of “gun free zones” (which time and time again are NOT gun free) and allow adults, young and old, to carry anywhere and ALL the time.

    • Charles L

      In this case, his advisor was targeted; he walked right up to him, shot him, and left. Even if the advisor was “carrying”, do you think he stands around all day with it drawn? This “Wild West” mentality you find so romantic is not practical & certainly not wise on a campus with crowded classrooms, hallways, & sidewalks. As much as you love the idea of everybody shooting willy-nilly in all spaces, more innocent people would be harmed in your scenario than now.

Related Posts


Get the latest posts from PoliticsNC delivered right to your inbox!

You have Successfully Subscribed!