Meaningful Congressional gun legislation continues to hobble toward legislative oblivion. As colleague Jason Easley reported Tuesday, the Senate will include no assault weapons ban in their final gun legislation. The “love them assault weapons” quintet of politically vulnerable Democratic Senators, plus a so-called Maine Independent named for a cow who caucuses with Democrats, managed to rip that ban from the bill pre-vote.
Surprised? Hardly! In the continuous “FX TV series Justified” loop that is gun-obsessed, fierce defense of the 2nd Amendment, US of A; death, taxes and no limitations on guns are the only certainties we will leave to our kin. Besides, there were already over 2,200 exceptions to the ban that was a joke to begin with. This latest action, accurately described by Easley as “cowardly” on the part of the 5 Democrats will further embolden the million caliber wackjobs to make this the most dangerous county on the planet, wars notwithstanding.
While you weren’t looking variations of “open carry” carry laws have been adopted by about half the states. South Carolina is currently (and surprisingly), a non-permissive open carry state. That means that open carry is not allowed in most circumstances. But that’s about to change. My 2 State Senators are currently pushing Senate Bill 115 that would sh*t can the non-permissive handle and concealed carry permits and replace them with the right of citizens to openly carry holstered gun, or tucked into the belt.
By sheer coincidence of course, several states have contemporaneously introduced similar legislation mostly with the title of The Constitutional Carry Act of (whatever state).” Georgia has HB 679, Colorado, HB 1205; Texas has a couple of open carry versions floating around, HB 1194 and HB 700. There might be others, but who can keep up with the thousands of man and woman hours given over to legislative gunnuttery while health care, helping the poor, educational and environmental concerns remain shelved. This is yet another example of states acting as one, creating a proxy Nation-state alternative to the federal government.
A Wiki page on the subject pictured a guy at the counter of a fast-food joint with a holstered gun and a cowboy hat. “And if you forget the fries; well…(patting holster).” The cowboy hat is as synonymous an accessory for the Billy Bob’s as the gun and holster. It legitimizes the carrier as a real live western badass, quick-draw chick magnet. News flash; most women of character and reason would run, not walk in the opposite direction of a public open carry gun-toter.
There were 4 gun-oriented stories in my newspaper today. Police officers had to shoot a local guy who had a houseful of guns and allegedly told a lady who attempted to pick up some belongings that he would “shoot up the house and shoot her” if she tried to gain entrance. He’s in a local hospital in serious condition.
Another story was quite timely. There’s a big push to lay the whole gun thing on the mentally impaired. And there’s no question that those not in full command of their faculties represent a real and present danger to themselves and others. T.J. Lane, 18 is a textbook example. He shot 3 students to death in an Ohio high school cafeteria a little over a year ago. The story was about his three life sentences for this horrific deed. The account went on to talk about the young man’s mental history. It was a well-known fact that the young man had been fighting mental demons for a long time. In the past he had suffered from hallucinations, psychosis and fantasies. The Ruger .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun either came from his uncle’s or grandfather’s place.
Lane attended an “at risk” alternative school for young students with serious mental problems. I’m betting staffing was short of ideal. That Ohio had cut off funds designed to provide maximum intervention for mentally troubled youngsters like Lane. I’m betting the money wasn’t there because legislators were busy kissing the asses of multi-billion dollar corporations who threatened to pull out of the state if they didn’t get their billion in incentives, their free property, their free infrastructure there fee anything they wanted.
In another story, the perpetrator in the killing of his wife and subsequent suicide is more to be pitied than censured. An 86-year-old man in Pennsylvania killed his 83-year-old ailing wife in an Allentown hospital hospice, and then turned the gun on himself. Relatives said he couldn’t bear the thought of living without her. And I believe them. It is a very common occurrence for a long-time spouse to die of natural causes within months of the passing of an elderly husband or wife.
I’ll bet the farm you’ll hear little from the “life is sacred, death panel” right-wing community because that would reflect negatively on the mode used to bring these 2 lives to an end. Most progressives have very mixed emotions on end-of-life issues and futile care. Euthanasia can be abused or it can be a Godsend for those suffering to such a degree that morphine barely dents the pain. Or some conditions can render a once vibrant person, essentially a non-person; blind, mute, paralyzed. It’s a question for another day, but again, there will be little reaction from the life under all circumstances crowd because a gun was used to carry out what may even have been a mutual agreement.
Recent studies have shown that the states with the most gun laws have the fewest gun deaths. About 40% of the population owns the guns; about 20% of their numbers are dangerous fanatics. Those are the facts. They actually favor reasonable progressives at the polls.
Start growing a pair elected officials and future candidates.
Raised rural & small town, then lived in N.Y., Chicago & LA. Widely traveled. Returned from world wandering to pursue media life of anchorman/reporter and major, medium and small market talk radio. Highly active in politics. Once worked as orderly & security in Mens Lock Ward for the Criminally Insane at a state institution. Much more rational population than current Teapublicans. Great concern for country run by and for the extreme wealthy. The inhumane current running through this country has no precedent in modern history.
Follow me on Twitter @demwriter