“The thing that so angers me, and I think so angers you, is that this president is using children as a human shield to advance a very liberal agenda that will do nothing to protect them…’’
That was State Representative, Steve Toth, speaking to a crowd of torch and pitchfork waving Texans on Saturday in Austin.
Toth was, of course, referring to President Obama’s push for stricter gun control in the wake of recent gun violence across the United States.
Toth says the president is using children as human shields.
We’ll come back to that.
Toth was speaking at a rally promoted as part of “Guns Across America” and “National Gun Appreciation Day.”
Guns across America.
National gun appreciation day.
I’ll pause for a moment so you can think about how goddamned insane that is.
National Gun Appreciation Day?
I’m a gun owner. I might appreciate the fine engineering or the craftsmanship that goes into making a precision machine, but that’s not what we’re talking about here, is it? Honestly, gun appreciation day? I might allow that given human nature, guns are a necessary evil or even that they are a tool for performing certain actions, but gun appreciation day? Are you kidding me?
Who the hell thinks like this? Outside a mental institution, I mean.
Banners at the Austin rally proclaimed “An Armed Society is a Polite Society,’’ ‘'The Second Amendment Comes from God’’ and ‘‘Hey King O, I'm keeping my guns and my religion.’’
An armed society is a polite society?
Bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. Provable bullshit. I can show you armed societies, truly armed societies, we’ll start in Iraq and work our way around to Somalia via the Mexican drug corridors through gangbanger territory in Los Angeles. Universally armed societies are emphatically not polite. And don’t we Americans make fun of comparatively unarmed societies (compared to us) such as France and Great Britain for their politeness? Canadians are so polite that it’s damned near a cliché, and yet somehow their easy going nature doesn’t seem to be at the muzzle of a gun.
If armed societies are polite societies, how do you explain Texas?
An armed society is a polite society?
What’s the logic here? Be polite, say please and thank you while kissing my ass or I’ll blow your brains out? Politeness at gunpoint is neither politeness nor a society. And let’s be honest here, do you really – and I mean really – want to live in a society where social interaction is enforced by the threat of deadly violence? Really? Welcome to Kuwait. Welcome to Saudi Arabia. Welcome to Feudal Japan. What’s next? Do we bring back dueling?
I call Shenanigans.
And the Second Amendment comes from God?
Again, bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. And bullshit.
How many damned times do we have to go over this? The Constitution is an agreement between human beings, it is a template for government, a basis for law. God doesn’t get a vote. God has not one damned thing to do with either the Second Amendment or any other part of the Constitution. I don’t care if you don’t like it. Too bad for you, you want to live where God makes the laws? Then move to Iran. In the US, God stays on his side of the room and the Constitution stays on the other. Anybody who doesn’t understand the difference between supposed natural rights (the so-called “God given” rights of the Declaration of Independence) and the manmade legal rights of the Constitution needs to stop waving their guns and bibles and go back to school – preferably one outside of Texas. The Second Amendment does not come from God, not your god, not anybody’s god. There’s no basis for this statement, not in the Constitution, not in law, not in the Federalist Papers, not in made up quotes from Thomas Jefferson, not in the bible. It’s bullshit, utter and total bullshit, and serves only to demonstrate a profound and staggering ignorance.
And there’s this: I’m keeping my guns and my religion.
Guns and religion.
It’s just me, right? Guns and religion. It’s getting so that I can’t tell extremist Christians from extremist Muslims. Honestly, from where I sit, all you crazy religious people look pretty much the same. Guns and religion. I wonder what Jesus would have to say about that? How in the hell do you get to guns and religion in the same sentence? Guns and religion, throw in a pickup truck, a keg of shitty beer, and an underage pregnant governor’s daughter and you’ve pretty much described the modern GOP, haven’t you? Can you people actually hear the words coming out of your mouths, did you read the banners you’re waving or did somebody else write them for you? Guns and religion? In that order, no less.
I’m not a Christian but I was raised in the church and I strongly suspect that Jesus would have bitch slapped the stupid right out of these people.
You know, and I’m just saying here, maybe there’s reason why you haven’t seen him in two thousand years.
Meanwhile, a bit further north, Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign went predictably ape-shit, and fired off a mass mailing like a runaway AR-15 with a filed down sear. The hysteria was almost palpable with dire warnings to Kentuckians that Obama was “coming for your guns!”
"You and I are literally surrounded. The gun-grabbers in the Senate are about to launch an all-out-assault on the Second Amendment. On your rights. On your freedom!"
That was McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton.
Oh no! We’re surrounded!
Surrounded by sissy pacifist liberals! Oh My God! What if they hand us flowers and start singing? Praise God and pass the ammunition! To arms! To arms!
Benton went on to say:
"Our Founders fought a revolution to secure our rights. They would have been appalled by what they heard from an American president the other day. President Obama has the left wing media in a frenzy. The gun-grabbers are in full battle mode. And they are serious."
You know, it’s funny. Whenever the President talks about jobs or the economy or the debt, Mitch McConnell immediately accuses him of not “being serious.” How many times have we heard that exact phrase in the last four years from Mitch McConnell? The president is not serious! Guns though, Mitch is willing to take Obama at his word on that, by God.
The president specifically said that he is not trying to infringe on the Second Amendment and that any significant changes to gun laws in the US would require congressional legislation.
According to Mitch, liberals are in full battle mode. Conservatives, on the other hand, are in a full-on panic. For a bunch of people armed to the teeth, they sure are scared of a bunch of sissy unarmed gay liberals. It must be a hell of a way to go through life, pissing your pants all of the time. Funny thing, I thought Jesus was supposed to give you courage. But I digress.
Conservatives are losing their minds over the idea of executive action on Obama’s part, once again demonstrating a profound lack of understanding of the actual Constitution and how our government actually works.
Executive orders only apply to the Executive Branch of Government. Obama can’t just make laws and issue orders, it doesn’t work that way. All executive action can do is enforce, or not, existing law – i.e. bills already created and passed by Congress, and signed into law by the President.
Now, last week, the president unveiled a legislative package which he urged Congress to pass in the wake of the Aurora and Newtown massacres. It includes a ban on assault weapons and armor piercing bullets and a 10-round limit on magazines. Note that the president can’t out and out ban assault weapons, armor piercing ammunition, or restrict hi-cap magazines, those things require legislation. Which is what he asked congress to think about. Obama isn’t acting like a dictator despite conservative hysteria, he’s acting like a president – and polls show that a majority of Americans want some kind of control over these weapons.
That’s the president’s job, to ask congress to look into it.
However, McConnell's message calls the president’s proposals a "thinly-veiled scheme,” and McConnell pledged that he will oppose not only legislation but executive actions as well.
The thing is, Mitch McConnell and other conservative lawmakers can’t legally oppose executive action – not without changing the law.
They’ve already given the president that power – it comes with the Oval Office.
If you don’t want this president to have the power, you shouldn’t have given it to the previous one.
And what, exactly are these executive actions that have Mitch McConnell and the gun-lobby pissing blood?
The Vice President's commission on gun violence recommended twenty-three executive actions.
Let’s look at them, shall we?
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
Obama will order federal agencies, i.e. agencies responsible to the Executive, to provide personal data to the background check system. The background check system that is supposed to help keep guns out of the hands of crazy people and criminals, the system that the NRA claims they support. Yes, that background check system. Why do Mitch McConnell and Congressional Republicans oppose this? No, really, why? There’s only one answer and it doesn’t include concern for keeping our kids from getting their brains blown out. Socialism! Socialism!
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
Oh, no! Address unnecessary legal barriers? That keep the medical community from reporting mentally disturbed people to the background check system? What’s next? Communism! Communism!
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
Wouldn’t want that, oh no! We all agree that the background check system is woefully incomplete, but we wouldn’t want to make an attempt to fix it, would we? What about state’s rights to allow crazy people to buy guns? What about that? Nazis! Nazis!
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
Talk about executive overreach. Direct the AG to review who currently can and cannot buy a gun? Hitler!
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
Boy, we sure wouldn’t want law enforcement to check the background of those released from arrest before returning their guns. No potential for domestic violence or mayhem there. Marxists!
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
See, that’s what happened in Nazi Germany, sure. First they passed a law, then the government provided help and training in how to implement those laws at the street level. Next thing you know, they were herding gun owners into ovens. Fascists!
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
You can certainly see why the NRA would be opposed to this. Wouldn’t want safe and responsible gun owners. Totalitarianism!
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
We have the Consumer Product Safety Commission review TV sets and Waffle Irons to make sure they don’t burn our houses down, but why would we want to know if those gun locks and safes actually work or not or are engineered to certain industry standards? Oh that Obama, what a dictator!
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations. 10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
I can’t even come up with a snarky response to 9 and 10. Really, why would you be opposed to this? Unless you’re a criminal. Oh, wait. Right. Never mind.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
For the last six years, that’s six years, Congress has refused to confirm an ATF director under either George Bush or Barrack Obama. Six years. The ATF has fewer agents now than it did in 1970 and takes up to eight years between inspections of gun stores because of a lack of personnel. The agency is prohibited from creating a searchable computer database for gun ownership records and has been leaderless for six years. Six years. Because congressmen beholden to the gun industry won’t allow confirmation of an ATF director. Obama recently nominated B. Todd Jones to head up the agency, but Mitch McConnell has already signaled that republicans will not allow even a debate on his nomination, let alone a vote on his confirmation. Six years, folks.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
Um, wasn’t this the NRA’s idea? So why is the NRA and Mitch McConnell opposed? I’m just asking here. Obama could say he was anti-abortion, and every one of these pinch-faced conservative assholes would suddenly be hauling their daughters down to Planned Parenthood for a D&C. Who opposes proper training for first responders and law enforcement?
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
Again, isn’t this a conservative idea? Get tough on crime? Or are they just for it when it’s a member of the Neighborhood Watch gunning down an unarmed black kid?
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, isn’t that what the NRA has been telling us? But, really, we won’t want to know why people kill people, would we? Let’s see, conservatives won’t let us do anything about guns, but they don’t want us to do anything about the people who use guns to commit mass murder. Logically (if that word can be used in this context) it would appear that conservatives are ok with mass slaughter. Honestly, what are conservatives afraid of here? Think about that for a minute, it’ll come to you.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
Boy, sure wouldn’t want the AG to issue a report! Oh no, not a report! Anything but a report. We wouldn’t want to know about new gun safety technologies, or the challenges to implementing some of these things, or methods for helping the gun industry develop safer guns. We’re all about research that leads to the development of more deadly weapons and ammunition, but not safer guns. What happens if the government helps gun makers produce safer weapons? The government did that with cars and look what we ended up with, seat belts and air bags and anti-lock brakes! Communism! Communism! Nazis! Absolutism!
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes. 17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
Sure wouldn’t want to know if somebody with murderous tendencies or clinical depression or mental issues has easy access to a gun. Because, guns don’t kill people, people kill people, but people who might kill themselves or kill other people shouldn’t be asked if they have access to guns which don’t kill people. Conservative logic, conservative tautology. Again, ask yourself what’s the real concern here. Think about it. If crazy people aren’t allowed to have guns…
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers. 19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
Wasn’t hiring armed guards and putting police in schools the NRA’s idea? But now they’re against it? Maybe Obama should propose arming Latinos and black people, see how long it takes for conservatives to start screaming for gun control. And why would Mitch McConnell oppose schools and churches and colleges developing a plan to deal with emergencies?
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover. 21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges. 22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations. 23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
Now according to the gun nuts, it’s not the guns, it’s the crazy people. But they’re opposed to anything that might help keep crazy people from picking up a gun and killing other people. The only option conservatives will support is the one where they get to carry guns so they can shoot crazy people with guns.
Obama proposed twenty-three executive actions. I’ve listed them all. Go read them again. Show me one, just one, proposed Executive Order that infringes on your Second Amendment rights in any way whatsoever. Just one. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
James Yeager, mercenary, gun nut, raging conservative hard-on, said that he’d “start killing people” if Obama used executive orders to implement gun control. I guess he has to make good on that promise now, I looked at the news today but I don’t see that he’s gotten started yet. Probably still drinking shots of redneck courage.
Read those twenty-three items and tell me which ones justify killing people.
In the meantime back at Gun Appreciation Day, five people were wounded in three different incidents at three different guns shows.
At the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, North Carolina, a gun “expert” managed to shoot three people “accidentally” at the show safety check-in booth.
Seems he put a shotgun in his gun case, loaded and with a shell in the chamber, and it went off when he was taking it out of the case. What kind of moron puts a loaded gun in a gun case? Not only loaded but in battery? And then he removes the gun from the case, knowing that it’s loaded (or more correctly assuming that it’s loaded as all properly trained gun handlers would do when picking up a weapon) but failing to maintain muzzle control and a clear line of fire should the weapon accidentally discharge. Who trained this idiot? Dick Cheney?
In Medina, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, another Rambo managed to shoot his business partner using a gun he’d just bought from a customer.
Yes, that’s correct. This idiot was a gun dealer, he picked up a gun without checking to see if it was loaded, hell, he bought a gun without checking to see if it was loaded, waved it around without regard for where the muzzle was pointed, and shot the guy working next to him. He was a gun dealer, a supposed genuine NRA expert.
At a gun show on the State Fair Grounds in Indianapolis, Indiana, another gun-toting chucklehead shot himself while reloading his gun in the parking lot.
Five people were wounded by so-called expert gun owners on Gun Appreciation Day.
You want these bleeding fools carrying loaded guns anywhere near you? You’re good with that? Fine, that’s on you, but I don’t want these idiots anywhere near me or mine. Period. I damned sure don’t want them near my kid, or yours.
And then, of course, down in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a fifteen year old teen took an assault rifle, an AR-15, and killed both of his parents and three of his siblings. Five people. Funny thing though, he was headed to Wal-Mart where he intended to continue the slaughter and die via suicide by cop. Instead he called a friend, who put him in contact with a church security guard, who talked the kid out of killing himself or anybody else. I said funny thing, I meant funny odd, see, the situation was resolved without guns, without shooting the kid down. Some likely won’t see that as a good thing, but I do find it interesting.
One way or the other, it was a heck of Gun Appreciation Day, wasn’t it?
Especially if you appreciate irony.
Why is it that when storms and hurricanes and earthquakes ravage our society, conservatives say it’s a sign from God to change our ways. But when ten people are shot on Gun Appreciation Day, well, you know. Nazis.
Hey, don’t get all pissy and start pointing your Assault Bible at me. I’m just asking. Guns and religion make my head hurt.
The thing that so angers me, and I think so angers you, is that this president is using children as a human shield to advance a very liberal agenda that will do nothing to protect them…
No, Representative Toth, it doesn’t anger me. What angers me are fear mongers like you. Hateful, paranoid, fearful little rabble rousers like you, that’s what angers me. Frightened insecure gun nuts who can’t seem to differentiate between their dick and their pistol, that’s what angers me. The fact that when children are slaughtered in a riot of blood, when adults are killed in a hail of bullets, when Americans are gunned down on the streets of the United States every single day, the first thing people like you think of is to run out and buy more fucking guns. That’s what angers me, Congressman Toth.
I’ll tell you what really angers me, that fact that as a gun owner myself, as somebody who has owned and used and taught firearms for most of my adult life, I get lumped in with lunatics like you and the NRA, that’s what pisses me off more than anything else, Representative Toth.
And really human shields?
At least President Obama thinks of children as human.
Unlike Representative Toth and his friends down at the NRA who seem to regard kids as little more than pop-up targets.
The only thing Gun Appreciation Day did for me, was make me appreciate the fact that today America swore in a president and a vice president with the courage to face these idiots head on.
Go get them, Mr. President.
Addendum 1: Every time I write one of these, I hope it's the last. But it never is, there's always another massacre. Always.
The Seven Stages of Gun Violence
The Bang Bang Crazy Series:
Part 1, What we need, see, are more guns, big fucking guns
Part 2, Gun violence isn't the exception in America, it's who we are
Part 3, Sandy Hook, the NRA, and a gun in every school
Part 4, More dead kids and why we have laws
Part 5, Gun control and a polite society
Part 6, The Christopher Donner rampage, they needed killin'
Part 7, Still more dead kids and let's print our own guns!
Part 8, Let's try blaming the victim, shall we?
Part 9, Armed soldiers on post, sure, nothing to go wrong there.
Part 10, Big Damned Heroes!
Part 11, Two in the Bush
What do we do about it? How do we change our culture of gun violence? Bang Bang Sanity
Addendum 2: As noted elsewhere, I’ve been around guns my entire life. My dad taught me to shoot when I was a kid – in fact the very first gun I ever fired was my dad’s prized black powder .75 caliber smooth bore Civil War trench piece when I was about four years old. I still own my very first gun, bought from Meyer’s Thrifty Acres in Jenison, Michigan, for me by my dad when I was fourteen years old – a lever action Winchester 30-30. I got my first deer with that gun. I grew up shooting, at home, in the Boy Scouts, hunting, target shooting, plinking, with friends and with family. Thirty years ago I joined the military and spent my entire life there. I know more than a little about guns. I’m a graduate of the Smith & Wesson Rangemaster Academy, the nation’s premier firearms instructor school. I’m a certified armorer and gunsmith. I’ve attended pretty much every boarding officer and gun school the military has. I hold both the Expert Pistol and Expert Rifle Medals. I’ve taught small arms and combat arms to both military and civilians for nearly thirty years now. I’ve fired damned near everything the US military owns, from the old .38 revolver to a US Navy Aegis Guided Missile Cruiser’s 5” main battery – and everything in between. I can still field strip a Colt .45 M-1911 pistol and put it back together in under a minute, blindfolded – I happen to own several of them, along with numerous other semi-auto pistols and a number of revolvers. I used to shoot professionally and in competition. I helped to design, test, field, and fire in combat US Military weapons systems. I’ve spent my entire life in places where gun usage is extremely, extremely, common. I have a Concealed Carry Permit. I’m an Alaskan and I typically carry a gun in the wilds of Alaska on a regular basis. I am neither pro-gun nor anti-gun, a gun is a tool, nothing more. If you feel that I’m ignorant of guns, or that I’m anti-gun, or unAmerican, well, you’re welcome to speak your piece – just so long as you can live with what comes after.