My headline might seem like an extreme declaration, but Friday’s massacre in a Connecticut First Grade schoolroom is only the latest in a string of mass murders just this year. As The Nation points out, there have been SIXTEEN mass shootings in 2012 alone accounting for 88 dead men, women & children, and the year isn’t even over with (barely 48 hours later: Man with 47 guns arrested after threatening school). And when I try to think of ways to greatly reduce the chances of something so soul-crushing from ever happening again, my ideas always end with: “the GOP would never let that happen”. As I pointed out last week, the Crazies really are holding the rest of us hostage. But they’re not the majority… or even a big enough minority to block all common-sense legislation that could greatly reduce the chances of something like this from ever happening again. No, the reason the votes aren’t there is because even sane Republicans (are there any?) cower in fear of an NRA that can now spend limitless funds to Primary someone that doesn’t support their agenda. NYC Mayor Bloomberg pointed out on “Meet the Press” yesterday that for all the money the NRA spent trying to defeat Democrats this year, they only won three of the seven races they threw money at. But, I’d point out, that was AFTER the Primaries, where candidates aren’t arguing over “who loves the NRA more“. In a GOP primary, every candidate is expected to be the NRA’s best friend, but only one of them is going to win that coveted endorsement. Double-whammy if the NRA decides to dump a few million bucks into the race to defeat you. Republicans are terrified of powerful lobbies like the NRA or “Reverend Bob’s Family First Caucus” or “Homeschoolers for Jesus” with deep pockets. Blazing Saddles said it best:
Speaking of which, the ever-brilliant Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert actually said on “Fox news Sunday” yesterday that he wishes to God “the principle [of Sandy Hook Elementary] had an M4 [assault rifle] when she lunged at the shooter and “blown his head off”. Click that link and take a look at that photo. That’s what Gohmert wishes the school principal had been carrying in a school full of 6-to-10 year olds. Tell me these people are in-touch with reality. This was after Gohmert also made the case that most mass shootings take place in ‘gun-free’ zones” (better known as places with lots of “innocent bystanders”.) It always stuns me when these people… detached from reality… believe that the solution to gun crime is MORE guns, not less. Yes, what we need is Teachers and Rent-a-cops playing Rambo around our children. I’m often reminded of Bill Maher’s criticism a few years back: “Yes, because what you really want in a school shooting is crossfire.” Mother Jones Magazine reported Saturday that “of the 61 mass murders in the past 30 years, NOT ONE was stopped by a civilian with a gun.” Not one.
Having once worked as a teacher myself (as a substitute), I can tell you for a fact that if a gun-wielding psychopath burst into my room, there was about a 75% chance I’d be nowhere near my desk where any weapon might be stored. And then what? Start a firefight in a room full of children? But I digress.
Now that we have turned our elections into “free fire zones” of unlimited spending by Special Interest Groups to ensure members of Congress support policies… not in the best interest of their constituency, but in the interests of a tiny minority with deep pockets, the chances of us ever seeing any meaningful “gun-control” legislation come out of this disaster seems unlikely. “Meet the Press” noted at the end of Sundays show that “out of 31 pro-gun Senators [they] asked, not a single one” was willing to come on their show. And NBC World News reported Sunday night that “even the NRA has refused to release a statement just yet“, saying they are “waiting on all of the information to come out” before commenting. They are all lying-low right now, waiting for the outrage to subside, the spotlight to wane till they can crawl out like cockroaches, because they know they don’t have a finger-licking leg to stand on, and the public would crucify anyone that dare try to stand up for the rights of armed gunmen in this environment.
I read a great couple of comments on Facebook right after the shooting, where one person wondered how long it would take for some Right-Winger to suggest maybe we should have “armed the kids”. The reply was that “it would make no difference if you armed the kids”, because the moment they started shooting back, someone would defend the gunman’s right to “stand his ground.”
Just how futile is it to try and reason with irrational people? Consider that the same people that are “Pro-War, Pro-Gun and Pro-Death Penalty” also call themselves “Pro-Life”… yet think nothing of cutting off a mother with young children from Food Stamps and Public Assistance. You might remember that just this past July, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia actually surmised that… if such a Second Amendment case came before him… he might interpret “the right to bear arms” literally to mean you are allowed to any “hand-held” weapon… including rocket-propelled grenade launchers and surface-to-air missiles, but not a tank or a canon. Really, Antonin? Do you really think the distinction the Founding Fathers were concerned about was the weight of the weapon when they wrote “bear arms”? Hell, I’m sure there are enough muscle-bound body-builder types that could lift & fire a small canon. I think I saw that in a Schwarzenegger movie once. There are guns today that are 100x more dangerous than a Civil War era canon. What if we make the canons smaller? How big must a canon be before someone can no longer “bear” it?
Fortunately for us, the Louie Gohmert’s of the world are a dying breed. But in the meantime, as long as “Citizens United” keeps the blackmailing of our legislators legal, small canons aren’t the only thing I can “no longer bear.”
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