It’s been a week now, since the attempted murder of Congresswomen Giffords.
A week for things to shake out.
Couple of observations:
- You know what I said about Second Amendment solutions at the beginning of the week. That view hasn’t changed and is quite unlikely to. I think people, especially people in positions of power, who speak of Second Amendment remedies should be investigated exactly the same way as anyone who pens a threateningly letter to the President. Do that, and you can go to jail, even if you don’t mean it. Words should have consequences. Abuse of power should have consequences. And it is long past time for the radicals on both sides of the aisle to be held accountable. It is long, long past time for the fear-mongers to be held responsible for their rhetoric, especially those whose only real purpose is to grow rich off of the hysteria and hatred they themselves stir up.
- Tea Party backed politicians have demanded that each new bill before Congress contain a clause specifying the precise provision in the US Constitution that gives Congress the power to enact that law. I think this is unnecessary, and so did the men who wrote and ratified the Constitution and formed our first government, but so be it. I can see no reason not to. Here’s what I want in return: A federal law that requires all officials, elected or appointed or candidate for, at both the state and federal level, to be required to provide references for their public statements and to be held accountable for deliberately propagating verifiably false information – or be required under penalty of law to admit up front and unequivocally that their statements are baseless and made up. Similarly, I want a modification to US FCC regulations that requires all public information outlets to list their references. I’m talking about those information entities that are governed by federal regulation, i.e. broadcast media, not private individuals. Product manufacturers have to do so, drug manufactures have to include a disclaimer and a list of side effects, financers have to disclose the terms of the loan – hell, even the Wikipedia requires some kind of citation – I see nothing unconstitutional about making Glenn Beck write down the specific source of his information on his little chalkboard when he says that “The Liberal Food Police” have “outlawed fried food in New York,” or he should have to admit up front that he just made it up. I’m not talking about curtailing anybody’s freedom of speech, including FoxNews, I’m simply saying that if you are going to propagate falsehoods and rhetoric to tens of thousands of people every night it should be clearly marked as such, no fine print. Period. I can’t see anybody on the Right objecting to this, being the staunch Constitutionalists that they so fervently are all of a sudden, after all does not the very first sentence of the Constitution say: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America?
- I note a common trend among commenters on conservative sites such as Fox and on the crazy “we just love guns and NASCAR and we fucking HATE Obama” sites like Yahoo: the President declared a moment of national silence for the victims of Tucson (I.e. democrats) but not for the victims of Fort Hood (i.e. Conservatives), AH HA! therefor the President hates the military and is unAmerican. Seriously? No, seriously? This is the best you’ve got. Seriously? Is the converse true? George W. Bush went to Fort Hood in the wake of the shootings there to comfort the victims, but he didn’t go to Tucson, does that mean he hates nine year old girls and moderate congresswomen? What the fuck is wrong with these people?
- It would appear that Conservative pundits are not, in any way, responsible for Jared Lee Loughner’s actions. Loughner was a nut. He lived in a fantasy land of his own making, literally. He shot Congresswomen Giffords, allegedly, because she didn’t answer one of Loughner’s questions to his satisfaction at a previous Q&A session. It wasn’t Rush’s fault. It wasn’t Glenn’s fault. It wasn’t Sarah’s fault. It wasn’t the hateful extremist toxic battlefield of modern media fueled politics. Well, that’s good. Guess we can just keep on with the hate speech then. Yeah, that’s good.
- I read a comment under an article on Yahoo yesterday, I can’t find it again today and I really wish I could because it sums up something I’ve been seeing, and it sums it up better than any other comment on the subject. It went something like this: This is exactly why I carry, Boy, if I’d been there, that shooter would have died in a hail of bullets. Uh huh. Ok. Question: how come Jared Lee Loughner didn’t die in a hail of bullets? Arizona has the most (heh heh) liberal gun laws in the country, you can carry concealed there without a permit. Until Loughner pulled the trigger, he was perfectly legal. Guns are a big damned deal in Arizona. Man should have a right to defend himself and all that. All free men carry guns, yadda yada. But nobody, nobody, shot Loughner down. Nobody. Where are all these pistol packing people, locked and loaded just in case something exactly like this happens? Where are all these free men, these heroes, ready and able to take out the bad guys and the commies and the crazies? One of the men who eventually tackled Loughner and held him down until the cops arrived was supposedly armed, legally. Didn’t do much to prevent the carnage, did it? In Tucson, on Saturday, it would appear that the only person empowered by Arizona’s lax gun laws was, well, the assassin.
- But let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that everybody who was legally able, was armed last Saturday morning in Tucson. Untrained. Uncertified. But legal gun owners and packing heat, you betcha. And let’s say they all slapped leather when the shooting started and cleared their holsters with those 30 round Glocks and 14 round Berettas and they returned fire in a jackstraw jumble of laser-sights and hot lead. There in that grocery store. Yeah, right there, in that crowed grocery store. In the midst of chaos. Screaming and running, panic. Crying children. Blood and smoke and confusion. Oh hell yeah, a dozen folks armed and brandishing weapons and no clear idea of what the hell is happening and no idea who the crazy grammar assassin is and who is just some other hero wannabe with a gun. Then imagine the police pulling up and stepping into the fray with their guns drawn. Yeah, sign me right for that. Sign me right the fuck up.
- I wonder, I really do, how many more times this kind of thing is going to happen before we finally stand the hell up to the NRA and the lobbies and beer-bellied hero wannabes and start passing sane gun laws in this country. I’m not talking about getting rid of guns, I’m talking about adding some goddamned sanity to the equation. Frankly, I’m not holding my breath.
Gabby Giffords has opened her eyes.
One wonders when we will do the same.