This Is Discouraging

From “How the White House silenced gun control groups,” Reid J. Epstein, Politico:

“President Barack Obama’s gun control agenda is looking more doomed by the day, but gun control advocates still haven’t said a word to complain.

“That’s no accident.

“The White House knew its post-Newtown effort would require bringing key gun control groups into the fold. So the White House offered a simple arrangement: the groups could have access and involvement, but they’d have to offer silence and support in exchange.

“The implied rules, according to conversations with many of those involved: No infighting. No second-guessing in the press. Support whatever the president and Vice President Joe Biden propose. And most of all, don’t make waves or get ahead of the White House.”

Billionaires and “F” Grades Can Be Good!

In the first election to national office since Newtown, Robin Kelly has defeated Debbie Halvorson in the Dem primary for Jessie Jackson, Jr.’s House seat.  Winning the Dem primary in Chicago means you will win the general, so Kelly is going to Congress.

Kelly had been graded “F” by the NRA, while Debbie Halvorson had an “A” rating.

Mike Bloomberg’s super PAC Independence USA ran over $2 million in ads supporting Kelly, and gun control was really the only issue in the race.

Insane Meets Unconstitutional

The Alaska House just passed a bill, 31-5, that says Alaskans’ guns and ammunition are not subject to federal gun laws.

Wait, it gets better.  The law also says that federal agents are subject to felony charges if they try to enforce any future federal laws banning semi-automatic weapons or large ammo clips or requiring gun registration.

Sarah Palin is not an anomaly, there are plenty more where she came from.

Hey, Mr. Putin, you wanna buy (back) a state?

Don’t Have a Gun? You’re Paying the Price Anyway.

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that gunshot wounds cost us $2.3 billion in medical bills a year  — and we taxpayers pay $1.1 billion of that through Medicaid, Medicare, and other government programs.

75% of the costs come from attacks, rather than accidents or suicide attempts.

While only 2% of gunshot wounds cause spinal cord injuries, those injuries comprise half the total costs.

What’s the Point?

The Senate is moving toward introducing a bill on gun control — but it won’t include a ban on military-style weapons.

Seriously?  What’s the point of having a Democrat in the White House?  What’s the point of having a Democratic majority in the Senate?  They’re just going to negotiate away an assault-weapons ban before the negotiations with the GOP even begin.

I understand that some Dems worry about getting re-elected if they support such a ban, but their job is to explain to those back home that they are not banning weapons that will preclude their constituents from hunting or protecting themselves.

Their job is to create the correct division between paranoid, fringe gun owners and sane gun owners, and not this phony antagonism between all gun owners and non-gun owners.


Sorry Your Child Is Dead, But We’re Really Busy

FL Sen. Marco Rubio said on Fox News today that Congress wont have time for gun legislation in this term.

I thought if Newtown didn’t change things, then nothing will.  So now I think nothing will.

What we need is for gun owners and non-gun owners to come together and align themselves against the nut jobs who don’t just want appropriate weapons to hunt or protect themselves or shoot for fun at a range, but want military arsenals to fight the government.

Thoughts on the Speech

I thought the President did well by making it a thematic speech — he has the State of the Union in three weeks for policy.  This speech was a meditation on who we are, what we believe and stand for, and sets the tone for addressing our specific problems next month.

He reminded us how far we have come from four years ago — “My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment.”  Can you imagine his saying that in January 2009, when it would have sounded cruel and sadistic, given that our collective fortunes were still in a downward spiral and we had no clue where the bottom was?

He also reminded us how low we have sunk — “We cannot…treat name-calling as reasoned debate.”

And he effectively turned the tables on those who call him an exotic extremist, by affirming that we as a country have reached a consensus about what was achieved in the New Deal and the Great Society, and we are not going back.  He showed who the real extremists are.

And he called on us to stop that extreme minority who don’t represent our values:

“You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.  You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.”

The crazies in Congress are a minority of their majority in the House and a minority of their minority in the Senate.  The President said that we can’t let these people set and control our agenda, that it wasn’t enough to re-elect him, we have to help him with phone calls and petitions, with marches and money.

To me, this is a time to forge new winning coalitions.  Those who don’t have or want a gun must join with those who want their guns only for hunting, personal protection, and recreational range shooting because there are many more of us than those who want to stockpile military-style weapons and ammunition.  This isn’t about urban/suburban Americans versus rural Americans, it is about the non-paranoid many against the paranoid few.

The great divide right now is not between Democrats and Republicans, but between rational Republicans and irrational ones.  It is up to reasonable people of both parties to undertake the “common effort and common purpose” the President summoned us to, so we may “carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.”