The underlying assumption of the White Fright is a belief that whites are secretly organizing to overthrow the current order and impose some sort of pale patriarchy on the country. These white supremacists are everywhere and look just like normal everyday white people, so any white person could possibly be one of them. These people can, at any moment, turn into a violent spree killer, if exposed to certain kinds of content called “hate speech” which is found on-line.
The similarities to medieval witch hunting are too obvious not to notice. The adversary is not something that appears in material form. Like Old Scratch, white supremacy is an evil spirit that works through the infected. Once under the control of white supremacy, the person no longer has agency. Not surprisingly, like the accused witches in Salem, the modern white supremacist is most likely to be someone that vexes the moral authorities, either by their presence or by their actions.
There are really a lot of people out there who honestly think that the middle of the country is full of Klan rallies and rednecks sitting around waiting for a dark skinned fella to walk by so they can lynch them. They think we have secret meetings and even a psychic connection to one another so we can communicate our racial animus without saying a word.
Having named white supremacists as the greatest threat to America, the goal is now to disarm white men so we can't start gunning down minorities at will. If you point out that most shootings are carried out by non-whites and especially when you only look at shootings where non-whites are the victims, you clearly are a white supremacist. See how that works? You get accused of some bullshit and then when you try to defend yourself that is just proof of what you were accused of. That is why defending yourself against these charges is a waste of time and actually counter-productive so Quit Chasing The Stick.
So it wasn't long after the dust settled that Republicans, including President Trump, started tripping over themselves to be seen as "doing something" about gun violence and it is pretty clear that many of them are all too happy to throw their most reliable voters under the bus. Expanded background checks (that wouldn't have stopped either shooter), unconstitutional red-flag laws (that also wouldn't have stopped either shooter) and even bans on "assault weapons" all seem to be on the table. Trump daughter Ivanka has been lobbying Republicans to cuck on this issue: Ivanka Trump is quietly calling lawmakers about the gun debate, and whenever she is involved, regular Americans are getting screwed. Lindsey Graham took a break from banging the drum for more wars to get on-board with more gun laws: BIPARTISAN GUN SEIZURE BILL PROMISED IN CONGRESS.
Trump is all on board with red flag laws and seems to be oblivious to how those will backfire on his followers. I am not going to reiterate that logic, John Wilder's post Red Flag Laws, or, How To Repeal The Second Amendment Soviet-Style Without A Pesky Vote is a good primer.
Trump is not stupid but he is ignorant, and those are not the same thing. Trump knows a lot about some things but he is the product of his upbringing and environment. I don't know much about being a real estate tycoon, I own my house and that is about it. Likewise Trump doesn't know a much about a lot of subjects so he relies on advice from others. It also seems that he gets a lot of terrible advice from his inner circle, most notably daughter Ivanka and her loathsome husband Jared. Assuming we still have a nation, when the real history of the Trump presidency is written it will hopefully cast light on how often Trump was misdirected from what he wanted to do by Javanka. Guns are an area he knows almost nothing about. Sure his kids were competitive shooters and hunters, but being a rich kid on safari is not at all the same thing as a kid growing up shooting whitetails for meat in Michigan. Trump doesn't know much about guns and he seems unwilling to think about the ramifications of what he is doing but someone is whispering in his ear that passing gun laws sure to piss off his base is a great idea, just like wasting time getting some thug rapper that hates him our of jail in Sweden will for sure get him the black vote in 2020. Trump has the attention span of a toddler drinking Mountain Dew in a sippy cup and he is possessed of an awe-inspiring and often undeserved sense of self-confidence so I expect this from him. Where many people don't expect it is from the supposedly wiser and more experienced Republican party leaders.
One of the basic political truths that I have come to believe based on decades of political involvement and engagement as a conservative is this:
If you can count on anything, it's that you can't count on Republicans.
Regular normie conservatives out in the heartland are often still under the impression that the GOP is a unified political party united behind Trump and working tirelessly to advance a conservative agenda. In reality most of the GOP leadership doesn't care about "conservative values" and in fact a lot of them fear and despise rank-and-file "deplorable" Republican voters just as much as Democrats do. Look at the years long pouting from "conservatives" like Bill Kristol and David French. What country club, Chamber of Commerce, DC insider "conservatives" really want to conserve is their own cushy gig. They want to write their little columns and publish their little magazines and make the right noises about the right issues, until they change their minds and make different noises about different issues, but above all they want to be able to eat at their fancy restaurants and attend their posh cocktail parties where liberals are in attendance and not be embarrassed by what the little people out in the heartland are doing.
It is almost a given that Republicans will surrender on "red flag laws". They will likely also surrender on expanded background checks for private gun sales. What is worse, it is likely this will get even broader once they start to "negotiate" with Democrats. Republicans "negotiators" give it up like a freshman sorority pledge at a frat kegger once they get behind closed doors. Happens every single time. I wouldn't be surprised to see something like a ban on "high capacity" magazines or even a resurrection of the Clinton-era "assault weapons" ban. Fox News ran a poll right after the shootings and it was pretty grim:
Fox News Poll: Most back gun restrictions after shootings, Trump ratings down
Fewer, although still a sizable 67 percent majority, favor banning assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons. That’s up from 60 percent in 2018. Support includes over half of those living in a gun-owner household (53 percent). Over half of independents (58 percent) and an overwhelming majority of Democrats (86 percent) favor a ban. Republicans split 46-46 percent, which is a shift from 2018 when it was 41 favor vs. 56 oppose.
|Via Foxnews.com accessed 8/15/2019|
Look at that a little closer. Half of people self-identifying as a gun owning household support banning "assault weapons". An even split of Republicans polled supported a ban on "assault weapons". Further, 81% of people support taking guns away from "at-risk" people. So if you think that the Epstein "suicide" seemed a little sketchy, you are a conspiracy theorist and therefore mentally ill and some quack psychiatrist can testify that you should be disarmed by force. Starting to see this all coming together yet?
What Trump and Republicans seem to not understand is that their collective cucking on this issue isn't helping them. Trump said all the "right" things after the shootings and his approval ratings still went in the toilet. Granted, these are registered voters which is far less representative of the actual electorate than "likely voters" but still it indicates that Trump and the GOP's signaling on gun control isn't helping them but it is pissing off their base.
I'll be watching this closely but it is just a matter of damage control at this point as the Republicans have once again surrendered on the principle and are now just fighting over which scraps the Democrats will toss them from the table.