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A troubling percentage of Republicans think mass shootings are just “something we have to accept”

One of the most depressing aspects of the recent spate of mass shootings in America, second only to the loss of so many innocent lives, is the sense that essentially nothing will change. Despite Mitch McConnell‘s claim that he taxed the Texas senator… John Cornyn by working with Democrats to find a two-pronged solution to the Cornyn gun violence epidemic tweeted last Wednesday that there was absolutely no truth to the rumor that he would tighten gun laws. Cornyn, of course, is far from the only Republican who refuses to do anything about the fact that mass murders are an almost daily feature of life in this country, where the GOP will try to give the death of firearms literally anything but guns. And according to a hugely disturbing number of Republican voters, that’s just something we all have to accept.

Insider reports that a new poll by CBS News and YouGov shows that 44% of Republicans believe mass shootings are “something we should accept as part of a free society.” (A majority of Democrats and Independents — 85% and 73%, respectively — think these events are preventable “if we really try”). that will make significant changes to gun policy,” with 66% of Democrats, 72% of Independents and 71% of Republicans saying it’s “not very likely” or “not at all likely.”

As The New York Times One of the reasons those people are probably right—besides the fact that Republicans have long blocked gun laws—is that Cornyn is one of the people leading the talks. Texas senator, who has a top score from the NRA, recently rejected Joe Biden‘s call for a renewal of the federal assault weapons ban — the expiration of which has arguably led to a threefold increase in mass shootings — raising the age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21, and limiting high-capacity magazines . (An effort to approve a package that would include improved background checks, red flag laws, and new mental health programs is presumably on the table, though many are again suspicious of Cornyn.) “It must be incremental,” the Texas legislator told The times, noting that people who have worked with him have dubbed his maneuvers the “Cornyn-con,” in which he pretends to be interested in serious policy negotiations but eventually backs out and then blames the Democrats. “The silver hair, the silver tongue, the temperate tone project seriousness; but his pattern is to be cynical and unserious,” Frank Harry, the executive director of the pro-immigration group America’s Voice told the newspaper. “He acts as if he wants progress, even if he undermines it.” Late last month, Republicans blocked a bill to combat domestic terrorism, Cornyn told: The Washington Post “I just don’t feel like it at all.” The May 14 shooting in Buffalo was carried out by a white supremacist targeting black people. So you can probably understand why there is a healthy amount of skepticism for Cornyn and co.

Of course, as other rich countries have shown, mass shootings are not something we should just turn around and “accept.” As The New Yorker‘s John Cassidy wrote just after Uvalde, Australia, Britain and Canada enacted all major gun restrictions in the wake of such horrific events, and their people no longer have to live in a society where mass shootings almost always happen. No, really: it doesn’t have to be that way!

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