Some random observations as I watch the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on preventing gun violence:
Aren’t conservatives all about de-regulation? Isn’t that one of their favorite talking points? Regulation is a bad word, a very, very bad word, and federal oversight is akin to a Kenyan, Marxist, commie, fascist dictatorship. Self-regulation is the way to go, don’tcha know, because individual liberty and freedom are paramount, and common sense laws overseeing things like, say, gun sales, are taking away our freedom to kill, dammit!
So as I’m watching the Senate hearing, imagine my surprise when I heard Chuck Grassley say the following.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said during a Senate hearing on gun violence today that violent video games must be examined as part of a broad plan to curb gun violence.
The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee declared that “there are too many video games that celebrate the mass killing of innocent people—games that despite attempts at industry self-regulation find their way into the hands of children.”
So self-regulation doesn’t work? Did I hear that correctly? Grassley wasn’t the only one: Senator Catches NRA Head In Epic Flip Flop.
Watching this hearing, listening to people like Wayne LaPierre, Gayle Trotter, who thinks “guns are the great equalizer for women,” and others who in their arguments ignore the instruments of death and blame everything else, was an exercise in frustration. For example, as Senator Al Franken noted, some seemed to “stigmatize mental illness.” They also stigmatize sensible gun safety measures.
These zealots actually blamed President Obama (we saw that coming) for gun violence because, they claimed, the Department of Justice has “done nothing” and the number of prosecutions of bad guys (criminals) with guns has dropped.
Gee, could that be because Congress has been determined to block the president’s nominees (ATF head, judges, U.S. Attorneys), a practice which has severely impeded our legal system?
And watching these same gun worshipers defend the personal use of high capacity magazines and weapons intended for military use is equally jaw-dropping. Protecting precious life has taken a back seat to ideology and profit, and for that, those whose priorities are upside down should be deeply ashamed.
One Republican, it might have been Grassley, also made the point that the horrific massacre of twenty children Newtown shouldn’t be used as an excuse to introduce new legislation. What he failed to acknowledge is that Newtown was the final straw, one in a string of mass murders. That willful misrepresentation of such an obvious catalyst is inexcusable. As Christopher Coons said, shootings like these occur year after year. Duh.
Mark Kelly, Gabby Giffords’ husband, noted how chaotic these death scenes are, yet gun “enthusiasts” insist that firearm carriers would magically keep their composure and turn into sharp shooting marksmen who would defend bystanders by killing bad guys on the spot. Apparently, they didn’t watch this video proof that carrying a gun won’t protect you in a crisis.
At one point one witness, Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson, the chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, referred to LaPierre’s attitudes as “creepy.” I couldn’t agree more.
If you missed it, Gabby Giffords Statement At Senate Gun VIolence Hearing.