Deep down, it’s because Republicans are cowards

Marco Rubio bought himself a handgun for Christmas. There’s nothing wrong with that, I guess; when asked why, he could just say because he wanted it, and he could afford it. But no, he had to spill his guts and expose the real reason.

In fact, if ISIS were to visit us or our communities at any moment, the last line of defense between ISIS and my family is the ability I have to protect my family from them or from a criminal or anyone else that seeks to do us harm. Millions of Americans feel that way.

There’s our problem in a nutshell. One of our presidential candidates thinks that ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is credibly going to invade Florida, that they’re going to break into his house, and that he’ll be able to fight them off with a pistol. That’s such a fantastically naive and childish vision of a sociopolitical conflict that it tells me he’s got an unrealistic view on how to handle a serious problem, and that what’s driving him is really an irrational fear.


  1. Athywren - This Thing Is Just A Thing says

    Of course, he could fight them off on his own, but he’d have to wear a vest and walk around barefoot all night, striking up a friendship with a world-weary beat cop on the radio and wise-cracking from time to time.

  2. Jeremy Shaffer says

    Rubio said:

    In fact, if ISIS were to visit us or our communities at any moment…

    You know, most people do well enough with a nightlight when they’re afraid of the boogeyman. Of course, I’m mostly talking about 4 year olds here so I suppose I shouldn’t insult them by comparing their mentality to that of the average Republican presidential candidate.

  3. dianne says

    Much as the idea of Isis having enough power to invade the US is dreadful, part of me wishes that it would just to see what people like Rubio actually do when confronted with the situation. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be “take their guns and form a resistance movement”.

  4. edrowland says

    > At a rally in Iowa over the weekend, Rubio connected
    > his gun purchase to President Barack Obama’s recent
    > efforts to close loopholes in the background check system.

    Is he worried that he wouldn’t pass the background check?

  5. marcoli says

    This presents for me an opportunity to vent a little spleen.
    The main reason for ‘Mericans to own handguns is their perceived right for self protection. They dream to get the drop on the bad guy with a gun. But the resulting plethora of guns also means…
    a) Someone shoots an intruder at night, finding that it was their kid returning unexpectedly. This just happened, btw.
    b) A disgruntled worker goes to work with a gun and a plan.
    c) A kid who is bullied goes to school with a gun and a plan.
    d) A kid wants to show off their dads’ gun to a friend. The dad thinks the gun is hidden. Think again. Results at 10.
    e) A motorist with a gun gets into a confrontation when someone cuts him off while driving. Results at 10.
    f) A dude in a bar with a gun gets into a confrontation. Results are on the morning news.
    g) A homeowner with a gun shoots an intruder who was intent on doing harm. Does this happen? Yes. But it is pretty rare in comparison to the above happenings.

  6. robro says

    Oh yeah, what about Chuck Norris’s Invasion U.S.A.? See, bad guys could invade America, particularly south Florida. Rubio probably sat up watching it on the late, late show.

    marcoli — Yes, many of us ‘Mericans know that the most likely person shot by a gun is the gun’s owner or someone the owner knows. We have to accept a little collateral damage in the on-going War On Crime. Richard Nixon said so.

  7. komarov says

    Why should ISIL bother to go all the way to Florida to kill a few Americans? All they have do do now is wait until Rubio or someone like him does it for them. Mission accomplished!

  8. says

    There is a lot of psychological work done by this belief that one is personally menaced by terrorists. An ordinary existence could seem more exciting and important. Complex problems could be collapsed into one problem. One may feel ennobled by being persecuted. It would be good to consider, not only the profits that gun companies and the military industrial complex are making from this delusion, but also what benefits it grants to its adherents.

  9. says

    Marco Rubio said some other stupid stuff related to acting tough:

    CHUCK TODD: So under President Rubio, you would not have negotiated any sort of prisoner exchange for those four American hostages?

    MARCO RUBIO: When I become President of the United States, our adversaries around the world will know that America is no longer under the command of someone weak like Barack Obama. And it will be like Ronald Reagan where as soon as he took office, the hostages were released from Iran.

    NBC News link.

    No, Marco. You are wrong. President Carter negotiated the release of those hostages.

    It wasn’t the case […] that the release was simply prompted by a tough-talking Reagan’s inauguration – rather, diplomats under President Jimmy Carter negotiated a resolution finalized on Carter’s last full day as president. Carter secured the 52 hostages’ release in exchange for the unfreezing of Iranian assets, an American pledge not to meddle in internal Iranian affairs and the creation of a framework for resolving post-revolution financial claims. […]

    Reagan’s tough talk didn’t continue to guide his administration’s actions. Senior Reagan administration officials later went on to engage in secret talks with Iran to gain the release of hostages held by Iranian client groups in Lebanon. The deal negotiated by the Reagan officials included the sale of arms to Iran, the proceeds of which were funneled to right-wing rebels in Nicaragua, later exploding into the Iran-Contra affair.

    Washington Post link.

    And here’s a look at the twaddle, at the fiction, that Marco believes in an article by Kevin Drum. The fiction that Reagan scared the bejeezus out of the Iranians was part of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy talking points too.

    I guess we could just send Marco Rubio to Iran with his new pistol and see how that works out.

  10. says

    Since 9/11, more Americans have been killed on US soil by lightening strikes or bee stings than by terrorist attacks. I look forward to Rubio explaining the expensive and liability-creating precautions he’s taken against these scourges.

  11. Bruce says

    Rubio is really saying that it’s sad that, between them, the US army, navy, Air Force, marines, coast guard, CIA, FBI, Florida national guard, county sheriffs, and police won’t be able to stop bad guys, but he can. Because none of them have a pistol as manly as his.

  12. Larry says

    It’s part of the GOP plan to plant fear into their base and then keep feeding that fear until they are all hiding under the bed. Communists, Nicaraguans, terrorists, ebola, refugees, anchor babies, WMDs. All of these have been or are currently being pitched as things that are going to destroy all life as we know it and if you want to survive, you best vote for the repug. And it works! You’ve got 70-year old corn farmers in Iowa, 1500 miles from either coast, cowering in fear that ISIS is going to invade their coffee shop and murder everyone while they are eating breakfast. Meanwhile, they’ve forgotten that last month’s dire threats never amounted to anything.

  13. footface says

    marcoli @ 5:

    Or even more likely: Desperate or depressed person remembers that gun in the drawer and shoots him- or herself.

  14. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    It could be he is just characterizing (fear mongering) the paranoid constituents he is trying to woo into the White House. Paranoia is the malady of the century, and Rubio is trying to exploit it by pretending to be infected with it. While Rubio deserves to be painted as a scaredycat kiddie, I’m much more concerned about how many people will believe him, and agree with him, and model their behavior after this soundbite.

  15. magistramarla says

    The GOP fear-mongering has definitely worked on me.
    I’m so afraid of the possibility of another Republican president that hubby and I will be very sure to vote and we’re encouraging all of our progressive relatives to do the same. I’m not saying a word about voting to our conservative relatives.

  16. footface says

    Republicans have been all about fear for as long as I can remember. Fear of people changing the way things “have always been.” Fear of non-white people. Of gay people. Of commies. Of immigrants. Of terrorists. Of drugs. Of criminals.

    For such macho bullies, they really are a bunch of pants wetters.

  17. moarscienceplz says

    I visited my niece, her husband, and her new baby this Christmas. One day they took a trip to show the new baby to her grandparents, who live in a very small community where everybody knows each other. They have made that trip many times before, and it is virtually all along interstate highways, and their car is practically brand new and very unlikely to break down. Yet the very last thing her husband did before he left the house was to decide which of his multiple handguns to carry on the trip.
    Paranoia, thy name is Republican voter.

  18. Knight in Sour Armor says

    I get the feeling, but I’m really more concerned with those terrorists up in Burns than I am with their kindred spirits half-way across the world.

  19. illdoittomorrow says

    Marcoli, at 5:

    To add to your list:

    h) Responsible Gun Owner™ tries to clean his gun while it’s loaded, possibly not surviving the experience.
    i) Burglar breaks into home, discovers door prizes in the form of unsecured guns; homeowner discovers that guns don’t defend themselves very well.
    j) Car prowler/thief breaks into vehicle, discovers door prizes in the form of a “truck gun”; former gun owner discovers that guns don’t defend themselves very well.

  20. Rich Woods says

    @Area Man #12:

    Since 9/11, more Americans have been killed on US soil by lightening strikes or bee stings than by terrorist attacks. I look forward to Rubio explaining the expensive and liability-creating precautions he’s taken against these scourges.

    Didn’t you know? He’s at the shooting range right now, putting in two hours of practice daily to ensure that he can shoot a bee in the heart at 25 yards and outdraw a lightning strike.

  21. Nemo says

    I’d label this more as paranoia than cowardice, but they demonstrate plenty of cowardice, too — e.g., in their response to refugees.

    The nice way I’ve heard it put is that the conservative mind is “highly attuned to external threats”. (“External” because this reaction only comes up in response to those they perceive as outside of their tribe.)

  22. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    trying to lighten the mood a bit (see what I did there?)
    out on the golf course, when lightning approaches, hold a 1 iron in the sky, cuz even god can’t hit a 1 iron.
    (or so those golfers tell me)
    yes, this was intentional attempt to derail.
    discussing ‘repubs as cowards’ is too obvious a truism to discuss without snark.
    should be on another one of the local threads: Bowie has been given his own constellation!!! tracing out his iconic lightning makeup icon from Ziggy Stardust.
    oh Ziggy, the voodoo that you do… … ;-(

  23. says

    Personally I suspect Rubio is bullshitting, and didn’t buy a gun at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s never set foot in a gun shop. He probably claimed he bought a gun to seem more like “regular folks.”

  24. Rike says

    What happened to “In God we trust”? Does Rubio not think that his god would protect him from the wrong faith believers?

  25. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    You know, I get being in fear all the time. I get it because that’s how I feel. My childhood was dominated by constant fear and I’ve never been able to completely shake this feeling that pain and death are hovering near at all times.

    I don’t own a gun.

    I won’t own a gun, ever.

    This is because I recognise that my fear is irrational during the overwhelming majority of my daily life. And that irrationality causes me to make bad judgements.

    As an example:

    A few nights ago some drunken idiot tore down all the mail boxes of my immediate neighbours. In the morning I found ours, somewhat bent and broken, on the ground by our front door. That felt like a threat to me. Why would they do that when all the other boxes were left where they lay? Surely they knew who I was and were trying to intimidate me particularly.

    But it turned out that a passer-by, not the drunk idiot, had picked it up and walked the 15 meters up the drive and left it there out of concern. It had been laying on the bike path, and out of all of the broken ones it was the least damaged. It was perhaps worth fixing and could be picked up in two pieces. That person was acting out of kindness and concern.

    My fear programmed brain immediately and overwhelmingly told me that that box, found were it was, could only be a threat. The thought that someone else could have moved it never entered my head. And now, imagine that I had heard that kind person coming up the drive in the dark. Imagine if I had a weapon that could go off with great ease….

    Constant fear is no reason to get an easy to use weapon.

    It’s a reason to keep far, far away from them.

  26. Rey Fox says

    Pretty much every election now is a repeat of the Onion’s 1980 presidential election:

    “Let’s Talk Better Mileage” vs. “Kill the Bastards”
    Which Message Will Resonate with Voters?

  27. dianne says

    i) Burglar breaks into home, discovers door prizes in the form of unsecured guns; homeowner discovers that guns don’t defend themselves very well.

    “Guns don’t defend people, people defend people”?

  28. Nick Gotts says

    I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be “take their guns and form a resistance movement”.

    Yes. More likely:
    “I for one welcome our new godly overlords. Allahu akbar!”

  29. Dunc says

    Yet the very last thing her husband did before he left the house was to decide which of his multiple handguns to carry on the trip.

    You’ve got to co-ordinate your handgun with the rest of your outfit…

  30. Gregory Greenwood says

    And once again I am left with the unpleasant feeling that people like Rubio secretly relish the existence of Islamic State and the atrocities its deluded followers commit. After all, it not only represents a convenient bogeyman they can use to gull the public, but as an added bonus it all plays in to their weird gun fondling obsessions – it is much easier to maintain one’s fantasies of being the Lone Ranger/John McClain/the man with no name/*insert preferred Hollywood action hero trope* if one has some stereotypically evil bad guys to hand. All these idiots who fantasise about getting their own slice of the ‘greatest generation’ veneration paid towards World War 2 era veterans now have their own versions of Nazis (updated for a modern audience!) to fantasise about heroically battling while the stars and stripes flutters dramatically overhead. For someone who either finds the complexity of international relations and global social movements too taxing to deal with, or more likely sees the advantage of playing up to the lazy thinking and blinkered tribalism of others, IS has been a perverse godsend. They are just so useful, both as a scary rationalisation for ever more oppressive laws and invasive surveillance, and now for once again placing obstacles in the way of effective gun regulation. They may even yet tip the political balance far enough that the horror show of a Trump or Rubio presidency becomes a reality. In truth, IS is so useful to the American religious right that they should really be getting paid political consultancy fees.

  31. brucegee1962 says

    The Republican strategy of spreading fear is definitely working. I am now terrified of Republicans with guns. Well played!

  32. says

    He didn’t buy that gun out of fear. He bought it to pander to the right-wing gun nuts.
    I won’t be surprised if he starts digging at Trumpster for not having one. “He’s a New York Liberal that’s coming to take your guns away, but not me.”

    Also, just to poke the thread a bit, #notallgunowners have guns out of fear, fondle them, or are Rebublicans. :p

  33. says

    This is a followup to comment #10.

    Rachel Maddow covered the history of Iran holding American hostages, and how the Republicans have been twisting this history into an unrecognizable mess that bears no resemblance to the facts. No, Ronald Reagan did not negotiate nor cause the release of hostages in Iran on the first day he was sworn into office.

    So far, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Chris Christie have all proffered similar versions of twisted history. Ronald Reagan is deliberately misremembered on the right. This pseudo-history approach has consequences: all of the Republican presidential candidates have a whacko, John-Wayne-ish approach to U.S./Iran relations. Marco Rubio is the prime example.

  34. dianne says

    No, Ronald Reagan did not negotiate nor cause the release of hostages in Iran on the first day he was sworn into office.

    On the contrary. Reagan negotiated with Iran to ensure that the hostages were NOT released prior to the election so that Carter wouldn’t get the credit for their release.

  35. ck, the Irate Lump says

    marcoli, you missed a big one.
    – A depressed, suicidal family member finds the gun and ends their own life with it.

    This is a huge number of the gun deaths in the United States, but everyone is supposed to act like it doesn’t matter. We’re supposed to believe that someone who was suicidal would’ve just found another way despite the research that says that suicide attempts are often very impulsive, and if the possibility does not present itself, people just continue living instead.

  36. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    YOB – Ye Olde Blacksmith #40

    If you really need a weapon for home defense, I recommend a Landsknechts Zweihänder. I guarantee no ISIS fighters will be invading my home so long as I have mine.

    Only if you have room to swing it. If you get pushed back into a corridor or the like an arming sword and buckler would serve you better. /hemageek

  37. says

    The main reason for ‘Mericans to own handguns is their perceived right for self protection. They dream to get the drop on the bad guy with a gun. But the resulting plethora of guns also means…

    not forgetting

    h) gets shot to death by a cop who has the wrong house, when the gun owner responds to someone breaking their door down with a gun (pretty sure this, or some variation has happened, and it just needs to merely “look” like a weapon.


    i) gets the gun taken away from them, and shot with it, because the moron thought it would “protect them” at close range, where it takes up to 10 seconds to draw, cock, and point, said gun, but three seconds for someone to hit/knife/beat you with a baseball bat.

    At less than 10 feet, according to my ex-cop brother, your gun would be worth more as a bludgeoning device, than a fire arm. At that close a range, they can be in close enough to you, before you get the first shot off, to either a) render it useless, or b) kill you anyway, even if you get them in the process (which since you have some crazy person running at you, with possibly some other weapon, and you are trained to shoot at totally non-threatening, inoffensive, and not out out to harm you, paper targets…., you have ***zero*** way of knowing if you will even manage to shoot at, never mind hit anything, instead of freezing, running, hiding, or some other useless action.)

    That said.. If ISIS really wanted to freaking kill senators, they would either try dropping a plane, again, on the senate, while in session, or mail the idiot a bomb (or, alternatively, just drive one up to the idiots house, and set it off). They are not going to show up like freaking soldiers from Red Dawn, with parachutes, and guns, and go door to door looking for Rubio, or anyone else. Its called f-ing asymmetrical warfare for a reason people….

    Sadly, explaining any of these things to most Republican gun owners is like explaining to a 2 year old why its bad to eat paste, or stick crayons in their nose.