If any facet of the GOP’s war on America has grown to lunatic proportions, it is gun control. The more people die from gun violence, the more the GOP sinks into denial. Liberals are to blame. Suddenly, it’s welfare mothers who somehow are responsible for right wing lunatics gunning people down. Blame it on video games, says Glenn Beck, not on guns or on people who own guns. The only people not to blame are the people actually responsible, which includes not only the criminals pulling the trigger, but the NRA and Republican politicians.
Being completely unhinged and disconnected from our shared reality, however, grants Republicans the freedom to indulge in wild flights of fancy. Gun control just HAS to be a government conspiracy. It is almost as if all these deaths – at Sandy Hook and elsewhere – have not taken place. Take gun crime out of the picture and you can push the Larry Pratt narrative that Barack Obama is King George, Buster Wilson’s theory that Obama “is requiring personnel to affirm their willingness to ‘fire on American citizens,’ and Alan Keyes’ turn-reality-on-its-head assertion that gun control is “intended to make sure that people will be slaughtered by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands.”
Nowhere is crazy better epitomized than in the Show Me State over the past few months:
First up, we have U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) who had this to say about President Obama’s gun-control related executive orders last month:
“As the father of a young son and the grandfather to six young children, I was outraged and saddened by the Sandy Hook shooting. Unfortunately, the president’s proposals today fundamentally fail to address ways that we can prevent tragic events like Sandy Hook, and instead, he’s attempting to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.
“We need to have a serious national discussion about preventing senseless acts of violence and protecting our children in their schools, and that should include finding ways to spend federal dollars more wisely when it comes to treating and identifying people who are mentally ill, and ensuring that we intervene before they do something that tragically impacts their lives and the lives of others.”
Not insane, perhaps, but completely off the mark. But it’s all downhill from Blunt.
A proposed Missouri law would throw federal agents in prison over guns. State Representative Casey Guernsey has introduced the Missouri 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. House Bill 170 (HB170). HB170 has 61 co-sponsors, which is kind of surprising but kind of not, because what HB170 does is nullify the Constitution in response to Obama issuing perfectly constitutional executive orders. Yes. HB170 outlaws federal law and therefore federal agents and employees who “enforces or attempts to enforce” federal laws pertaining to firearms and ammunition: “Any official, agent, or employee of the federal government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation of the federal government upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in the state of Missouri and that remains exclusively within the borders of the state of Missouri shall be guilty of a class D felony,” which equals up to four years in prison in Missouri. The proposed effective date of this law is August 28 of this year.
Here’s one you probably never thought you’d see, even from Missouri: just the act of suggesting a gun control law could soon be a felony. Says Missouri state rep. Mike Leara’s House Bill 633, “[a]ny member of the general assembly who proposes a piece of legislation that further restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States, shall be guilty of a class D felony.” Yes, the Second Amendment does trump the First Amendment according to Republicans, unless it better serves them to have the First Amendment trump all else, as when they are preaching sedition and treason. The Supreme Court has already ruled that such legislation is a no-no (United States v. Johnson, 1966). Oh, and the bill is also against the Missouri Constitution. But since when did any Constitution have any value in Republican eyes? Somebody in the “Show Me State” needs to show the Republicans the Constitution, any Constitution. Please.
It is perhaps a surprise to no one at this point that Missouri’s Republican state Rep. Eric Burlison shot Democrat-sponsored House Bill 545 full of holes because it would make owning an military-style assault weapon a Class C Felony, a proposal that, as we’ve seen above, could itself soon be a Class D Felony. He even posted a video of his heroic deed on YouTube titled suggestively, “2nd Amendment puts holes in HB 545.”
Yes, the Second Amendment seems to be shooting holes in a lot of things lately, including school children. Republicans do not seem to understand how they are making liberals’ arguments for them by running around carrying guns and shooting things. Republicans do not seem to understand how they are making liberals’ arguments for them when they insist loaded guns be carried everywhere but Republican National Conventions and gun shows. Our children should be exposed to them – David Barton thinks our school children should be loaded for bear in the classroom (as does Ann Coulter) and other Republicans want to arm the teachers – but apparently the people exposing our children to gun violence should NOT be exposed to guns.
Missouri is not the only state full of crazy Republicans. It was Oklahoma’s Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), after all, who blamed gun violence on welfare moms. Lankford, by the way, is also on record as saying that gays and lesbians should not be protected from workplace discrimination. So there is plenty of crazy to go around. Every state must share some of the burden these people place on society as a whole, and on the framework of American democracy. But Show Me State Republicans seems intent on leading the way.
For a review of current Missouri gun laws, see FindLaw.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.