We no longer have to wonder whether there will be more Las Vegas-style mass executions in the United States; the only question is ‘when?’
The handwriting on the wall following the slaughter of schoolchildren in Newtown Connecticut five years ago was clear. The supremacy of weapons ownership trumps life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Sexual predator and former Fox blowhard Bill O’Reilly took to the interwebs yesterday, using his blog to declare mass shooting incidents were the ‘price of freedom’ we have to pay for the having the Second Amendment as part of the Constitution.
Never mind that history demonstrates, as Thom Hartmann recently pointed out, this part of our Bill of Rights was written in response to concerns about the then-perceived dangers posed to democracy by a standing army.
Or that it was modified after appeals by Patrick Henry to ensure the preservation of slavery in the South. Militias were also known as Slave Patrols in states like Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolinas.
Or that there was no judicially recognized “individual right to own a gun” until 2008, via a Supreme Court decision in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. The ruling was the successful culmination of a decades-long legal strategy to twist the Second Amendment into something that would sell more weapons.
The National Rifle Association’s idea of a moment of silence was temporarily suspending more than $1 million in (for eight days) attack ads aimed at the Virginia gubernatorial race.
The House of Representatives has decided to not vote this week on the NRA-endorsed (and fast-tracked) SHARE Act (Sportsman Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, or H.R. 3668) making it easier for Americans to buy gun silencers.
From NBC News:
The bill would, among other things, loosen regulations on the sale of armor-piercing bullets, expand gun rights on public lands and shield people transporting guns across state lines from local laws. It would force courts to reimburse plaintiffs’ legal fees if they are improperly detained.
“The SHARE Act would open up our law enforcement officers to personal legal liability for doing their jobs when they inquire about interstate firearm transportation during routine stops. This is absolutely ridiculous,” said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., a former co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsman’s Caucus who opposes the bill.
A separate bill on concealed carry reciprocity has yet to be taken up by the House Judiciary Committee, but it already has 212 co-sponsors, putting it easily within reach of the 218 votes necessary for a majority.
All those children wanting to get into serious “bang! bang!” won’t have to wait too long. The SHARE Act will be back as soon as politically practicable, especially since there is a Trump connection.
From the Daily Beast:
Utah-based SilencerCo is one of the top manufacturers of suppressors in the United States. And its CEO Josh Waldron counts Donald Trump Jr. as a top ally.
Prior to Trump’s inauguration, Waldron got an assist from the president’s eldest son in helping to popularize his company’s products. Trump Jr., an avid hunter, appeared in a promotional video for SilencerCo in September of 2016.
“I love your product,” Trump Jr. told Waldron in the video. “It’s just a great instrument. There’s nothing bad about it at all. It makes total sense. It’s where we should be going.” He added that they could even help get “little kids into the game” of hunting.
The demands of pundits and politicians for us not the ‘politicize’ the question of gun violence following a tragedy should be understood for what they are: excuses to do nothing.
Paul Blest at The Ouline gets this right:
Once it was reported that a 64-year-old man named Stephen Paddock was the person who opened fire in Las Vegas Sunday night, killed 58 and injuring 500, the tide turned against “politicizing” the tragedy, perhaps because Paddock wasn’t a Muslim or an undocumented immigrant. “Gun control is a legitimate issue,” said Fox News’ Howard Kurtz on Monday morning, “but for the Dems already raising it after Las Vegas massacre, could we just have a day before plunging in[?]” Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin echoed the sentiment: “To all those political opportunists who are seizing on the tragedy in Las Vegas to call for more gun regs…You can’t regulate evil…” Well, apologies to Gov. Bevin, but you actually can regulate evil, and the best time to do it is right after evil strikes.
The idea that we shouldn’t “politicize” tragedies is a relatively new one that conservatives like to manipulate to their advantage. Trump, for example, used last year’s shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando — previously the most deadly shooting in American history, with 49 killed — as a reason to push his virulent brand of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment. George W. Bush used 9/11 as a pretext for two wars as well as the massive expansion of the surveillance state. When it comes to guns, however, conservatives use the notion that we should wait days, weeks, or months to talk about the structural causes of mass shootings not out of any kind of respect for the victims but to slow momentum for any sort of action involving the tightening of gun restrictions. If we ever want to live in a better world, it is crucial to immediately highlight why these disasters are political in order to make sure those who die in mass shootings don’t do so in vain.
There are, sadly, plenty of locally elected advocates for the Freedom to keep us all unsafe.
Congressman Darrell Issa wants us all to know he’s praying:
Horrific news out of Las Vegas this morning. Praying for victims, their families, first responders and all those affected. We are with you
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) October 2, 2017
The $29,900 Issa received from the NRA dictates praying will be the only response he’s capable of.
James Elia, the activist running for the 71st Assembly District next year, took to Facebook on Monday to remind folks about the recently concluded Annual 2nd Amendment Awareness Event. Hosted by incumbent Randy Voepel at the Lemon Grove Gun Club over the weekend, the Assemblyman gave a speech in support of assault rifles, semi-automatic rifles, and high-capacity magazines.
Congressman Duncan Hunter also received five figures in contributions from the NRA. He’s been busy advocating for a first strike against North Korea because nothing says ‘freedom’ like a little more radiation in the air we breathe.
Moving on to some other ‘freedom’ issues, two of the candidates vying to be the Democratic challenger to Duncan Hunter have succeeded in alienating a rather important segment of the local electorate.
Malloy, who doesn’t appear to be running much of campaign anywhere, simply didn’t respond to the club’s inquiries.
Butner, who is campaigning via a flood emails and lobbyist contributions, flat out refused the invitation.
One need look no further than the Trump administration’s recent vote against a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution condemning the death penalty for those found guilty of committing consensual same-sex sexual acts to understand the importance of Democratic candidates taking an affirmative position on LGBTQ rights.
While the Republican majority in Congress is always willing to say no to sensible gun laws, they’re always eager to legislate when it comes to women’s reproductive rights.
The Trump administration has announced support for legislation introduced by Arizona Congressman Trent Franks making it a crime to perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with the possibility of a fine, up to five years in prison or both.
Twenty weeks is the point in most pregnancies where fetal abnormalities are confirmed, so what they’re really saying is “let’s jail doctors” who provide abortions.
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