Washington Post’s Max Boot claims ‘GOP gun cult’ is the ‘sickness in U.S. culture’

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In a new Washington Post opinion column, Max Boot declared that the pro-gun GOP is the “sickness in US culture.”

Out of all problems in the US, the columnist fixed on gun-rights supporters as the main issue in America today, saying they belong to a “gun cult” and part of the “unholy trinity” that makes “the next mass shooting more likely” .”

Boot began with his lament that America is “a country with more guns than people — and where many teenagers can purchase a military-style assault weapon before they can legally buy a drink.”

He blamed that stark reality on Republicans seeing nothing wrong with the number of guns in the country. Boot wrote, “Yet, as if denying that heavy rain causes flooding, Republicans continue to insist that the prevalence of guns has nothing do with the prevalence of shootings.”

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Boot's latest Washington Post column blamed the GOP for increases in gun sales, thus increasing levels of mass shootings.

Boot’s latest Washington Post column blamed the GOP for increases in gun sales, thus increasing levels of mass shootings.
(Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Boot chided the party for blaming everything else but guns for mass shootings, like the one in Uvalde, Texas. “They blame doors, video games, mental illness, “emasculated” men, family breakdown, demons, the lack of prayer in schools, Ritalin, antidepressants, social media, social isolation — anything and everything except the weapons used in these crimes,” he stated.

Boot then pointed to other western countries as proof the US is doing it wrong. “All such explanations ignore the obvious rejoinder that our culture is pretty similar to those of Canada, Australia, Britain and other countries that don’t have anywhere close to the same levels of gun violence,” he claimed. The writer added that “We don’t have a monopoly on mental illness, family breakdown or video games.”

“Americans are actually far more religious than adults in other wealthy nations,” the Washington Post columnist mentioned, providing what he sees as proof that “we are not suffering from a prayer deficit.”

However, the author did agree with pro-gun lawmakers that America’s culture is sick, but precisely because it loves guns. “There is a sickness in America. It’s our gun cult, which has no counterpart in any other advanced democracy,” Boot declared.

He then wrote, “Republican politicians, the gun lobby and gunmakers — the unholy trinity — are complicit not only in weakening gun laws but also in glorifying differents and encouraging their sale.”

And when gun sales increase, “that makes the next mass shooting more likely,” he asserted.

The author wrote how guns have become such a staple of Republican identity. “Guns have overtaken flags as an obligatory accessory in Republican campaign commercials, and people who have used guns allegedly for self-protection, such as Kyle Rittenhouse, have become Republican heroes.”

Mourners visit a memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 31. Washington Post columnist Max Boot blamed pro-gun Americans for rise in mass shootings.

Mourners visit a memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 31. Washington Post columnist Max Boot blamed pro-gun Americans for rise in mass shootings.
(AP/Jae C. Hong)

“Gun ownership has become a mark of tribal identity in red America,” Boot added.

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His column completely dismissed the idea of ​​using a gun for “personal protection,” writing as if that’s a propaganda line used to sell more firearms. Well, it’s no mere coincidence that gun sales have been soaring (primarily among White men) while right-wing politicians and propagandists have been hyping two phantom menaces,” he wrote.

He named these menaces as “Black Lives Matters protesters and undocumented immigrants” and “the political threat from Democrats” — which includes the Trumped-up fears that Democrats are “‘grooming’ children” and “bringing communism to this country.”

Boot claimed that not only does “Much of the GOP fearmongering” have “an obvious racist taint,” it’s not making anyone safer. “Here is the truth that Republicans never tell their constituents: Owning firearms makes you less, not more, safe,” he wrote. Citing gun control activism website, the Trace, he wrote, “‘Having a gun in the home increases the chance for accidental injury, homicide, and suicide, all of which have been shown to outweigh the potential protective benefits of firearms.'”

Boot then claimed, “There is another important truth that Republicans deny: Gun control works,” citing a report claiming that “strict limits on gun purchases and ownership were followed — no surprise — by reductions in gun deaths.”

Cindy Nell of Prince Georges County, Md., holds a list of school shootings since 1998 during a demonstration with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at the Senate steps of the US Capitol after the latest mass shooting at a Texas elementary school.

Cindy Nell of Prince Georges County, Md., holds a list of school shootings since 1998 during a demonstration with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at the Senate steps of the US Capitol after the latest mass shooting at a Texas elementary school.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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And because Republicans refuse to get this, Boot wrote, they “are contributing to the bloodbath engulfing America by blocking gun-safety laws while promoting gun ownership.”