The ‘mental illness’ point is totally disingenuous. Let’s stick to the Buffalo and Uvalde shootings, since they’re on our minds.
Neither of these young men had a history of mental illness, and few mass shootings have been committed by people with diagnosed psychotic disorders. A case study: I worked at a mental institution, and was frequently on a floor where people were involuntarily committed. These were people who experienced auditory hallucinations, had fixed delusions and paranoid beliefs. You couldn’t interact with them and miss the fact that they were having a way different experience of reality than most other people. With an exception: There was a seventeen year old kid on the unit who had been arrested because he’d confessed plans to shoot up his highschool to a friend and the friend told their parents and their parents told the cops. It’s a hard thing to prove that someone was legit planning something like that, so he plead out and part of the plea deal was that he be committed. He never expressed a weird belief, never interacted with people who weren’t there, never presented oddly. Of all the people suffering on that unit, he was the only person you wouldn’t bat an eye at in the civilian world. He was not demonstrably mentally ill.
Second, on the mental illness issue: The MAGA crowd are totally opposed to any money being spent on anything of public benefit, and of any sort of increased access and affordability of mental healthcare. It’s dishonest for anyone associated with MAGA to say that they want money invested in mental healthcare and public health infrastructure, and you’re just saying this to redirect people away from a possible assault weapons ban when they bring it up. Y’all want an armed SWAT team at your kids school but it’s authoritarianism when they have to put masks on? It’s a joke.
As for ‘If guns are outlawed than only outlaws will have guns’… the Buffalo and Uvalde shooters purchased their weapons legally and were law abiding citizens until they went and murdered a bunch of people. There are tons- TONS- of people with guns in the US, and I haven’t seen a single ‘good guy with a gun’ stop any of these mass shootings.
As for needing to protect yourself from criminals, if you’re thinking of protecting yourself from criminals with an AR, you’re an idiot and an asshole. You don’t use a weapon that can punch through plywood, drywall, glass and human bodies in a residential area, you load a 12 gauge with birdshot like a decent human being. An AR, or any assault weapon, is impractical to the point of being useless for home defense. If you come up against someone and need one you might as well call in air support too, because you’re not shooting a home invader, you’re fighting a small army.
In terms of having schools, and grocery stores, and a million other places under armed guard all the time- the school in Uvalde had a school resource officer and the supermarket in Buffalo had an armed security guard, and it did jack shit to protect anyone because you CAN’T protect against something like that, at least not without a militarized society. The shooter has the initiative, is able to plan, doesn’t have to think about collateral damage… the guard can only respond, and poorly, while the shooter can control the situation.
So again, for the good guys with their AR-15s: What are you going to do? Run into chaos and figure out who to kill while screaming people run all over the place? Fire rounds that are going to tear through walls and hit little kids in the face? Please.
As for the ‘militarized society’ referenced above, I see a lot of MAGA folks on the internet clutching their pearls and saying how an assault weapons ban is a step toward a police state while you call for armed cops outside of every public place. You’re totally cool with a police state, mostly for other people.
Which brings me around to saying that the whole thing is a pathetic fantasy. You’re going to fight off the troops of the New World Order with your AR? Modern governments kill their enemies with drones, and you, your AR and your F-150 would be a melted pile of metal on the roadside if a drone operator decided to launch a missile at you. If you’re worried about a tyrannical government, talk to your neighbors, take up running, and figure out how to go on strike. Don’t play with guns you don’t need.
Because it’s a toy for you. You get to have a fantasy life in which you’re a hero and you do things that matter. And that’s fine, except you’re cool with little kids getting shot in the face because you might need a second assault rifle.
An assault weapons ban wouldn’t mean yours would be taken away. That’s not what’s under discussion. What’s under discussion is keeping the next hateful piece of shit from being able to buy a gun that is really, really good for killing unarmed people in crowded places and worthless for anything else. Will this shit still happen? For sure, but extended clips, bump stocks, ARs and so on make this shit deadlier when it happens, and that’s what I see you arguing for: Mass shootings that are deadlier.