Yesterday, Donald Trump suggested that the Orlando massacre could have been stopped if more people at Pulse that night had been armed. Trump’s call to arm nightclub patrons was immediately met with uproar, but there were several right-wingers making the same argument just a few days earlier.
Several Koch network leaders argued that “gays should arm themselves” last week. Koch-funded Cato Institute Senior Fellow Tom Palmer wrote in the New York Daily News:
Let’s get one thing very clear. Gun control advocates disarmed the victims at that night club. Florida law states unequivocally that even a concealed carry permit “does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose.”
That made those people sitting ducks. Legally designated gun-free zones are invitations to killers.
Another Koch crony, Phil Kerpen tweeted his agreement with Palmer that same day. “Give the Daily News credit for printing this sensible opposing view to their front page tantrum.” And the day before LIBRE Initiative policy analyst Payton Alexander tweeted a similar sentiment: “Armed gays don’t get bashed.”
Unsurprisingly, the Cato Institute has also worked to stifle gun violence research and argues that “there is little we can do to prevent future lone-wolf terrorist attacks.” According to Vice News:
Gun rights advocates, however, disputed that Congress imposed a ban. Lawmakers were making sure the CDC wasn’t veering into public policy that has nothing to do with its remit, they said.
“Why would they study [gun violence]?” David Kopel, an associate policy analyst at the Libertarian Cato Institute, said. “They were created to do actual public health, like on cholera and communicable diseases. We made so much progress on those, they forged into mission creep and are doing everything else in the world like obesity and drug crimes.”
Once again, the Koch network is arguing for extreme, outlier policies no matter how dangerous they may be.