Thune to Shooting Victims: Get Small

It turns out Senator John Thune does have more than useless thoughts and prayers for victims of the Las Vegas shootings. He also has tactical advice for Americans caught in future hails of gunfire at schools and country music festivals:

It sounds like he used conversion kits and other things, you know, to make these weapons more lethal. Like I said, we’ll look at the facts when we get them all in here. I think that all of us want to do everything we can to prevent tragedies like that from happening again. You know, it’s an open society. And when somebody does what he wants to do, it’s going to be hard to prevent anything. But I think people are going to have to take steps in their own lives to take precautions to protect themselves and in situations like that, you know, try to stay safe. As somebody said: get small [Senator John Thune to NBC reporter Hallie Jackson, as transcribed and Tweeted by producer Frank Thorp, 2017.10.03].

Rebecca Schoenkopf of Wonkette wonders if handsome John’s advice will work for folks trying to avoid armor-piercing bullets, on which pending Republican legislation would ease restrictions.

We South Dakotans are supposed to be loads smarter about guns than those silly city slickers, but Gary Legum of the Independent Journal Review explains quite seriously that Thune sounds tactically clueless about the Las Vegas shooting:

Stephen Paddock was shooting at a crowd of people from more than 500 yards away and 32 stories up. It would be hard for anyone to present a smaller target, even if he was using sniper scopes.

Paddock was shooting into a crowd of 22,000 people packed closely together, with guns that may have been converted to fully automatic. In those circumstances, just bullets ricocheting off the ground will have a good chance of striking someone — even if they curl up into a ball on the ground to present a smaller target [Gary Legum, “Republican Senator Has Worst Solution Ever to Mass Shootings,” Independent Journal Review, 2017.10.03].

Salon‘s Charlie May points out that Thune’s “open society” shrug at the notion that he could use his power to “prevent anything” doesn’t sound like the tough can-do talk he uses in response to terrorism:

But it’s not as if Thune has failed to act on issues regarding homeland security. On his website, Thune makes it clear that he is more than willing to stand up to terrorism — so long as it stems from an international organization.

“The attacks of September 11, 2001, forced us to change the way we think about national security and how we protect our country here at home. Unfortunately, there have been numerous reminders in the United States and abroad that the threat of another terrorist attack is still very real,” the website reads.

He also pledges to “strive to make sure our armed forces and law enforcement officials are provided with the tools they need,” but only when fighting the war on terror.

“As long as there are forces in this world who oppose the democratic ideals on which our country was founded, we must remain vigilant as a nation in striving to preserve liberty and stand up to aggression,” the website reads.  Apparently those principles don’t apply to those who fall victim to random, senseless acts of gun violence at the hands of someone who doesn’t fit Thune’s vision of a “terrorist” [Charlie May, “GOP Senator John Thune to Shooting Victims: To Survive, ‘Get small’,” Salon, 2017.10.03].

If death and destruction gives Thune the chance to stand with the troops and deficit-spend on guns and bombs, he’s all about big-government solutions. But when a red-blooded American man uses his legal rights to buy guns and ammo to wreak murder and mayhem, well, golly gee, you can’t fight fate, so duck and cover.

Mike Henriksen pre-empted Thune’s feigned helplessness quite aptly this morning:

Senator Thune is promising to respond to Las Vegas the same way he responded to Orlando, San Bernadino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Chattanooga, Charleston, Isla Vista, Fort Hood, the Washington Navy Yard, Newtown, Brookfield, Minneapolis, Oak Creek, Aurora, Oakland, Seal Beach, and Tuscon—by doing nothing. One of the most powerful politicians in the country says that when it comes to avoiding gun violence, you’re on your own.

28 Responses to Thune to Shooting Victims: Get Small

  1. Robin Friday

    This has stunk of global terrorism from day one. The long-term careful planning, the overkill arsenal, the logistics, the weapon conversion, the no-paper trail, the Philippine connection, etc. I don’t know any more than the next person, but it’s smelling more and more. Just my idea.

  2. He needs to go hunting more with Cheney. Maybe that is where he came up with his smallness

    Then again, people shoot themselves near Lake Andes for hunting gone terribly wrong. Too. Also.

  3. Roger Cornelius

    When I read the ‘get small’ headline I thought Thune was talking about tiny hands Trump.
    One of the first and most poignant photos of the massacre was that of an elderly man in a wheel chair being pushed to safety by a true heroine. How do those not as physically fit as John Thune seek safety at a moments notice?
    Thinking ‘small’ is precisely what is wrong with Trump and Thune’s GOP.

  4. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Senator Thune has also over the years been one of the biggest recipients of NRA contributions too…. Imagine that…

    So he wants us to get small in the presence of a gun, huh?…. While his gun contributions keep getting bigger, how convenient….. Perhaps the Senator has taken Steven Martin’s advice a little too literal…..

  5. MTneighbor

    Perhaps he should get “small” and get out of office.

  6. Darin Larson

    When Thune says to “get small” he is only giving the advice that he and the GOP leadership live by when it comes to confronting senseless gun violence. For the GOP and its NRA overseers, there is nothing to be done but get small and wait for the criticism to subside. Then it will be time for them to get back to the business of selling more weaponry to the masses.

  7. Gee, Big John, would you like some ranch dressing for that WORD SALAD? Get small??? Bound to happen in a free society?? Oh, well, golly, gee! I heard other senators give the old talking point about no need to enact new laws because guys like the shooter don’t obey the law anyhow. OK, then why have laws against robbing banks? People rob banks despite the law. Why have any laws?

  8. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Let also not forget that Senator Thune introduced an amendment in 2009, which fortunately failed cloture 58 to 42 with the help of two sensible Republican senators (Lugar and Voinovich), that would have required all states to recognize the concealed carry permits of other states.

    Apparently, in Senator Thune’s world, he just wants us to “get small” everywhere and wants to facilitate that reality as well….

  9. Not to point out the obvious, but Sen Thune is already “small.”

  10. I wrote Monday about the social contract and how the Las Vegas massacre takes us to the core question of how we balance power to protect ourselves within civil society. Senator Thune seems to be abandoning the social contract, saying there’s nothing we can do collectively to limit the accumulation and use of such deadly power, so we can only live in anarchy and constant fear.

  11. What a bizarre statement for SDs Senior Senator to make.
    If it had been a Muslim, he would be calling for war.

  12. The gun problem is the most obvious example of corporate greed run amok. The US is condoning the mass execution of 12,000 people this year for corporate profit. The NRA’s fanatical stance on gun ownership is not about individual freedom – it is about them being the insurers of corporate profit by the firearm industry.

    As with all zealots, their slogan do not ring true when examined in reality, so they buy their influence in the policy-making arena.

  13. Darin Larson

    CBS just mentioned that the NRA spent $52 million on the 2016 election cycle, which was triple what they spent in 2012. They have the best representatives that money can buy.

  14. You would sure think the hunting crowd would realize that the NRA is just a lobbyist organization and one of the biggest ones out there. The NRA doesn’t care about hunters, they care about how much money they can make.
    It may have started out as a decent organization but when they use people’s money to buy elections, this shouldn’t be what America stands for.
    When a politician is worried that they’re going to get a C rating from the NRA, that is messed up.

  15. mike from iowa

    Marlboro Barbie spelled it out for you, us Americans. Guns are here to stay and you need to adapt or die.

    How do silencers/suppressors protect the hearing of the victims hundreds of yards away?

    How does allowing the mentally ill to skip background checks before they buy guns make the rest of us safer?

    This has never been about safety, This is about what wholly owned subsidiaries of the NRA are gladly willing to do for their korporate NRA masters.

  16. Jerry K. Sweeney

    Humph, he’s a Republican, that’s how they roil.

  17. Hhm, how small? It appears that the Sandy Hook first graders weren’t small enough. When 6 & 7 year olds aren’t small enough for Malibu Barbie – then none of us, or our kids, or our grandkids have a chance.

  18. Roger Cornelius

    John Thune could have easily googled ‘what to do in the event of a shooting’ and found some real advice from “professionals”.

  19. John, ouch. That’s one of the strongest ways I’ve heard the cluelessness of Thune’s statement put.

    I keep wondering if Thune’s statement was a sort of Freudian slip, if maybe he was really thinking about what he wants the opponents of the NRA to do, get small and not fight back.

    Politicians shouldn’t get small. They need to get big against the attacks the NRA will wage against them for proposing sensible gun regulations that a majority of Americans support.

  20. John, comment of the day. Well reminded, sir.

    The fact that schools now drill active shooter responses with students should be a sign that our society has chosen the wrong value system.

  21. I just finished a piece looking at how second amendment freedoms allow an absolutely devastating ability to plan and carry out a mass murder spree. We so often (incorrectly) see these shooters as someone who “snaps,” but the truth is that these mass shootings can only be so successful through detailed, careful planning. That planning is facilitated by our fanatic, absolute firearm ownership rights and the industry that springs from those rights.

  22. mike from iowa

    Drumpf WH is blaming Obama for the bump stock accessory. I doubt that Obama could have done anything with it while wingnuts filibustered everything they could to deny Obama his legacy.

  23. Here is the junior russian mafia dude with support for saving children’s hearing with silencers I think we could call this republican paid farce, “The NRA, killing us softly with a silencer” No need to make a lot of noise to disturb the children while the slaughter goes on. How much will thune/rounds and NOem make off this? Lots!!

  24. When a few NFL players kneel during the National Anthem, we must restrict their rights to non-violent protest; when a mass murderer opens fire on a crowd of people, we must protect the rights of gun owners. I see the GOP playbook; I just don’t understand it.

  25. mike from iowa

    Why do second generation immigrants commit more crimes than first gens? According to this guy assimilation causes second generations to reflect native population behaviors. Works for me.

  26. Paul - Patriot fr. Massachusetts

    It is beyond the pale that a US senator (John Thune) could be so insensitive to the massacre that occurred in Las Vegas. 58 dead and overall 500 wound (many still fight for their lives in the ICU). Thune stated that people needed to take precautions to protect themselves. The 22,000 country music fans were 1200 ft from the sniper. I guess we could all protect ourselves by not going to any outdoor events (concerts, football games, etc) but that’s not living. As for Thune’s “get small” comment I say, get a life senator. If people could have become ant man they would have but this is real life not science fiction. 22,000 people were sitting ducks for this lunatic with basically an automatic assault rifle. Maybe if Senator Thune was among the 22,000 fans he could have showed everyone how to get small under a hail of gun fire. Can you imagine the Republican outcry if a Democrat made comments like Thune? Hopefully the good people of So. Dakota throw this bum out next election.

  27. mike from iowa

    Memo to Marlboro Barbie- You want citizens to provide for their own safety during mass shootings. You need to pass a bill that sez from hereon in mass shooters must divulge their choice of weapons and location of killing fields so the public can adequately prepare to defend themselves.

    After each weapon and location is divulged, congress shall provide the weapons, ammo, sights if necessary, to every citizen who signs up to be in the immediate vicinity of next mass slaughter.