Of the twenty-three gun control proposals President Obama outlined in his announcement on Wednesday, two deal with mental health: Encouraging mental health providers to get involved and improving state reporting of criminals and the mentally ill. I strongly suggest that they start with some of the crazy gun-owning people who are ranting against these proposals – many of whom are state and national legislators. Of the other whack jobs, they're either paranoid wing-nuts or plain old liars. Both conditions can be treated by professionals, and it's covered under Obamacare.
|Arm the teachers! Arm the principals! (But no, no, no: We are not extremists!)|
But fools frequently rush in where angels fear to tread, and that's exactly the route Larry Ward took recently. And just who is Larry Ward? Damned if I know where he came from; perhaps he's the latest spawn shot out of an AR-15 in the basement of NRA headquarters. (No, actually he's the CEO at Interactive Media and the President at Political Media, Inc.) Whatever, Ward is suddenly the NRA pawn and organizer of Gun Appreciation Day, which will be held in Washington on the same day that is nationally recognized as the Martin Luther King Day of Service to honor our greatest civil rights leader.
And what is his basis for a holding a gun-rights rally on this day? In case you missed this in history class, Dr. King would agree with him that "if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country's founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history."
Well, the sonofabitch is right, you know. If those slaves had just been able to ring those bells and warn the British that -- oops, sorry, wrong idiot. If those poor kidnapped souls had been presented with guns as they left the slave ships, instead of being beaten and sold into oppression, by golly we'd be a better nation for it. Makes you wonder why the Colonists didn't think of that, doesn't it? As Al Sharpton pointed out so succinctly, slaves were not even allowed to name their own children, much less own guns.
Perhaps Larry Ward is getting his civil rights history from his father, Ted Nugent, a board member of the NRA. (I'm kidding about the father-son relationship -- at least I think I'm kidding. Nugent has had so many children, in and out of marriage, that one never knows. He even put two of his children up for adoption. No, seriously.)
It's pretty obvious that the NRA leadership is not particular about who they seat at their table. Nugent threatened Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama back in 2007 when they were running for the Democratic nomination. And in April of last year he made a threatening remark about President Obama by saying If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year. That tirade earned this rill American a little meeting with the Secret Service.
As Media Matters pointed out, the new NRA mantra is that banning assault weapons is just like racial discrimination. (Hey, folks, I'm just the messenger here; and you remember what you're not suppose to do to the messenger, right?) So, loyal gunner that he is, Nugent offered up this pearl of wisdom: There will come a time when the gun owners of America, the law-abiding gun owners of America, will be the Rosa Parks, and we will sit down on the front seat of the bus, case closed. Because, you see, owning guns is a civil right -- at least according to the NRA. A little schooling is called for here, and forgive my yelling it: OWNING A GUN IS NOT A CIVIL RIGHT! SITTING ANYWHERE YOU WANT ON A BUS IS A CIVIL RIGHT! Thank you for your indulgence, readers.
Now, in his defense (an eye-roll is perfectly acceptable here), Nugent was merely following up on former NRA president Marion Hammer's less-than-brilliant contention that banning people and things because of the way they look went out a long time ago. But here they are again. The color of a gun. The way it looks. It's just bad politics.
Bless Marion's little heart, but I don't believe that civil rights were ever bestowed upon things. Or is that like Corporations are people, my friends? I get confused about these right-wing issues.
Before we leave Teddy-boy, let's remember how excited
Ah, an endorsement a presidential candidate can surely be proud of. And if said presidential candidate is not proud, said endorser just might shoot him. Because it's a civil right -- or something like that.
But now the author of the least credible history book in print is pushing back on gun reform legislation and telling tall tales on Glenn Beck's show. Barton thinks it's a dandy idea to have children armed in schools, and proceeds to give, um, reliable testimony to this stupid-of-the-stupidest notion by relating an uncited story about a bad man who wanted to kill a teacher back in the 1800's wild-west days. But, gun-toting children to the rescue! They told the bad man that they liked their teacher and if he killed him/her, they would shoot him. (No word on what would have taken place had the children not liked their teacher.)
You Can't Make this Stuff Up
As soon as my stomach settles down a bit, I'll do a subsequent post with more idiocy. In the meantime, here's the latest on that brilliant NRA idea to have armed guards in schools. A Michigan charter school thought this was such an important issue that the co-directors hired a retired sheriff's department firearms instructor for that purpose. It’s a tremendous asset to the safety of our students, the co-directors proudly announced on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the new "guard" left his hand gun in a student restroom. It is said that the gun was not loaded, so the county prosecutor chose not to bring charges, declaring it a situation of no harm, no foul. (Massive head bang here.)
And, what the hell good is an unloaded gun supposed to do? I don't get it.
End Note: Framing the Narrative
As Kathleen pointed out in a previous post, the President and Vice President have done their part to bring America some semblance of commonsense gun reform. The NRA is throwing every argument out there that they can think of. But we can do better.
It must be reiterated to our legislators that if they don't support practical gun reform, then they support the mass murder of Americans. It's as simple as that.
Gun Appreciation Day -- At least five "responsible gun owners" shoot themselves or others during Gun Appreciation Day. So, how'd that work out for you, folks?
Gun Show Shootings: At Least 5 Hurt In Accidental Incidents In Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina
UPDATE 2 (by Patrick):
I am sure that Sunnyjane will approve the following update: Already in 2009, the City of New York launched the project "Gun Show Undercover." In this project, investigators documented illegal sales during gun shows and thoroughly documented the huge loophole which exists at gun shows, where guns can be sold to anyone without background checks from so-called "private sellers." The City of New York published a detailed report about the investigation, and also published video clips which were secretly recorded at gun shows.
Another website exists with a detailed reported for the "follow-up" 2011 investigation.
The following clip from 2009 shows how any criminal or mentally disturbed person could easily buy guns at gun shows from high volume sellers which miraculously pass as "private sellers." It is particularly shocking to see that many sellers would agree to sell guns even after the buyer had explained to the seller that he "probably wouldn't pass a background check."
More videos can be watched at the youtube channel of the "Gun Show Undercover" project.
The next clip shows how easy it was to buy a Glock 9mm handgun with an extended clip without any background check at a gun show in 2011 in Arizona. This is particularly chilling as the same gun was used just 15 days earlier by shooter Jared Lee Loughner in Arizona during the devastating Tucson shooting.