Wil Wheaton may have beat them to the punch this time, but better late than never, right? A day after the deadly murder-suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school that left a special-needs teacher and one of her students dead, Salon vomited up this tired and infuriating take:

Bob Cesca writes:

Returning to Columbine and Sandy Hook, you might recall how defenders of gun rights, specifically the National Rifle Association and its bought and paid for bidders in the Republican congressional caucus, invariably pointed to mental illness as the sole inciting factor in those and other gun massacres. Any excuse to deflect from the reality that firearms, unlike cars or other favorite false equivalences of gun advocates, are designed for one purpose and one purpose alone: to inflict harm or death upon living organisms — too often human beings.

Desperate to sidestep this reality, as well as the fact that firearms enjoy lopsided protections relative to all other for-profit retail products, the usual suspects have in recent history latched onto the mental health aspect of mass shootings. Naturally, mental illness is too often a catalyst for shootings like the one on Monday. (We don’t know if the shooter was mentally ill, but his suicide points us in that direction.) But, of course, it’s never the only factor. The easy availability of firearms and the inability of Congress to break through its ownership by the gun lobby are clearly two of the more dominant components. Residing at the top of the list, of course, is the gun culture in America that’s managed to somehow preserve a consumer product as a kind of “The Gods Must Be Crazy” sacrosanct object of worship — a kind of pseudo-religious relic to be honored and protected rather than responsibly sold, used and regulated.

To help make his case, Cesca busts out the repeatedly debunked narrative that Republicans in Congress voted “to make it easier for seriously mentally ill people to get guns.” That’s not true, of course, but never let the truth get in the way of a political crusade:

After the repeal of the Obama rule, and following Monday’s horrendous shooting in San Bernardino, what excuse will the NRA roll out, now that augmenting the database has been abandoned? Who the hell knows.

Where to begin? Well, for starters, Cedric Anderson, the shooting suspect, had a long history of violence — including domestic violence — as well as criminal weapons possession. Criminal, as in, not legal. In short, Anderson was, for all intents and purposes, a dangerous man. But was he mentally ill? Cesca himself admits he has no idea. So, using Anderson as evidence in his argument actually undermines his argument.

Aside from that, the notion that the NRA is responsible for yesterday’s deadly shooting — or any deadly criminal shooting — is downright absurd. And those who relentlessly malign the NRA after every act of gun violence only demonstrate their profound ignorance when it comes to the NRA, the nature of gun violence, and the proven ineffectiveness of gun control.