Joy Reid accuses Uvalde residents of re-electing Abbott for his lack of action on gun control: ‘Learned helplessness’


MSNBC’s Joy Reid called out what she called a “learned helplessness” that protracted efforts to enact gun control legislation on her Monday show.

Speaking to Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts, Reid attacked Republicans for claiming to want action on crime but not supporting gun control legislation. Although Reid criticized Republican efforts to portray crime as a bigger issue than gun control, she mainly lamented that Democratic candidates who promoted gun control, such as Beto O-Rourke , did not win the midterm elections.

However, she concluded it stemmed from “learned helplessness” among voters rather than any opinion on gun control.

Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut.”
(MSNBC)

“And very quickly there’s this kind of learned helplessness that I think happens in a lot of voters. You think of Uvalde County where this massacre happened about these fourth graders. They voted to re-elect the current governor, Greg Abbott, by almost 22% Turnout, 45% Less than half the people bothered to vote, and they could have found a governor who would have done something about it. It’s learned helplessness,” Reid said.

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Watts agreed with the concept and argued that it should motivate candidates to work harder to pass gun control laws where they can.

“It absolutely is. I think cynicism is too often an excuse for inaction. We have to have hope in the states where we’ve worked hard, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, we have overturned the chambers of the general assembly. Now we will pass tougher gun laws. We can do it everywhere. If we work together to pass tougher gun laws and vote on the side gun safety,” Watts said.

Democrats Beto O'Rourke and Stacey Abrams have been dubbed the

Democrats Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams were dubbed the “superstar losers” in a November 2022 article on The Atlantic.
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images and Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Although the Democratic Party hoped to turn Texas blue with O’Rourke as governor, O’Rourke underperformed his initial 2018 Senate bid, losing heavily to Abbott.

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Reid also insisted that the United States has “the most killings” when it comes to gun violence.

“You go all the way down, and like you said, [the U.S.] is the country with the most murders. From afar. There is no country that is not at war that has more gun murders. That’s why it’s much more comfortable to go to a bar in New York where they don’t carry guns than to go to Atlanta where they can carry guns in a bar,” Reid said.

“You can’t be soft on guns and tough on crime,” Watts added.

A man chooses a gun April 18, 2007, at the Gun Gallery in Glendale, California.

A man chooses a gun April 18, 2007, at the Gun Gallery in Glendale, California.
(Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images)

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In the past, Reid has claimed that Republicans are willing to promote gun violence in an effort to motivate voters. In July, Texas State Rep. James Talarico appeared as a guest on “The ReidOut” and accused Abbott of being “the biggest threat to public safety” in his state.


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