Are the Mentally Ill Holding the Hearings on Gun Control?
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From where I sit, when you have victims of gun violence before you (one of them a former sitting member of Congress, who owned guns herself), including the parents of those innocent children massacred in Newtown, CT, imploring you and your fellow Congressional Critters to pass comprehensive gun control legislation, and your response to that testimony is that the guvmint will pry your gun from your "cold, dead hands", you have no right to hold hearings on the issue because, according to the Rude Pundit, you are mentally ill. You are basically telling these suffering families to go "Cheney" themselves, because dammit, you're going to do what needs to be done to ensure that irresponsible morons can keep their guns.
His Rudeness broke it down (Warning - if you can't stand indelicate language, the Rude Pundit's blog is not for you):
If you wanted to make a case for mental illness as a primary cause of gun violence, you could pretty much get all the evidence you wanted from yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on possible solutions to the mass shooting epidemic in the U.S. There were so many episodes of batsh*t paranoia and outright delusion from the anti-gun law speakers that diagnosed schizophrenics bowed their heads in honor. Honestly, if at some point the NRA's Wayne LaPierre had started scrawling a manifesto in his own sh*t on the walls of the hearing room, the Rude Pundit would have thought, "Well, that was not unexpected."
Let's just lay out the argument quickly. On one side, you have people who want to close a loophole in background checks on gun buyers and who want to ban some semiautomatic weapons and all high-volume magazines, all while making sure that law-abiding citizens and legal immigrants can purchase most every other kind of rifle and handgun, under the idea that some safeguards and minor limitations are not unreasonable. On the other side, you have "I dare you p*ssies to try to pry my right to buy a dozen AR-15s from my cold, dead hands, motherf*uckers."
So you can see how we might be at loggerheads here.
They seemed to turn up the crazy when reports of Hadiya Pendleton's murder and a mass shooting that occurred during former Rep. Gabby Giffords' testimony flowed in.
Honestly, how much more has to happen before the NRA releases that stranglehold they have on our Congress Critters regarding comprehensive gun control legislation? The Second Amendment (which the NRA vociferously makes the basis of their defense) never included the right to pop a cap in someone's ass just because they were Cuban immigrants who got the wrong directions on their GPS and made a wrong turn into your driveway.
Everybody who keeps pushing this meme "I have the right to own any kind of AK-15 assault weapon I want" - well, when you gun down an innocent bystander and your ass gets hauled to jail and then you go on trial, don't try to get yourself off by saying "I was threatened" or something else equally lame as your defense. Like George Zimmerman is trying to do right now in the Trayvon Martin case. If you want your "freedom" to own your guns, with that freedom comes responsibility, and only those who pass those mental health background checks can demonstrate such responsibility.
You should be made to answer the question of needing a damned arsenal in your basement, at least. Who, or what in the hell are you afraid of, that you need to stockpile assault rifles to protect your home and your family? Last time I heard, a snub-nosed .38 got the job done as effectively as emptying a full magazine clip from an assault rifle. There is a hell of a lot more going on here than merely being afraid in the areas you live in, or even the times you live in.
Look, I grew up with a 6'3" African warrior grandfather who owned 10 Winchester rifles, but whenever he needed to chase someone off his property, he only picked up one rifle to get the job done, because he figured he only needed one good shot to either send a warning or wound the trespasser. His intent was never to kill anyone, because he believed no man had the maturity to take responsibility for ending someone's life.
The other nine Winchesters? My grandfather was a collector of rifles, and upon his death each of his grandsons received two rifles (including my brother) as mementos - which my mother and aunts would not allow them to keep. My family was conscientious about gun ownership, even back in 1970 when it seemed every black man needed to turn into either a Black Panther or Shaft, and felt they needed to pack heat to protect themselves (mainly from racist, corrupt police officers). So I fully understand a person's right to have a weapon to defend themselves, their families and their property.
And the NRA understands that, too; however, because there's a Black Man in the White House, they're being disingenuous and blowing a whole lot of smoke up the asses of the Fox Noise audience over the demand for comprehensive gun control. If they really were about protecting the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, they would see that working with Congress on this issue, instead of fighting them, is a win-win all around.
They would be seen as a responsible lobbying group that not only protected the Second Amendment rights of their members, but also a responsible organization dedicated to promoting the idea of being responsible gun owners. The NRA is a prime example of someone not content to share or willing to compromise; they have to have it all. Sooner, rather than later, they are going to overreach in defending the indefensible, and not even their bought-and-paid for Congress Critters will be able to save or protect them, because their own job security and political survival will be at stake if they try.
The Rude Pundit called it - the mentally ill are holding Senate Judiciary hearings on gun control legislation - which is the equivalent of the inmates running the asylum.
(Cross-posted at 3CHICSPOLITICO.)