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Well, Which Is It?

Photo by Dunechaser

Photo by Dunechaser

I’m terribly confused.  Is the GOP the Law and Order Anti-Terrorist Party, or the Protect Serial Killers and Let Any Random Maniac Buy a Gun Party?

Daytona Beach police have determined through forensic evidence that the same kind of weapon was used to kill three women (and maybe a fourth) over the past few years, so they have taken what could be considered a logical next step. They didn’t go on a fishing expedition (in fact this is exactly the way a gun dealer who cooperated put it), but asked gun dealers located in the specific counties where the homicides took place if they could see their records during a specific period of time (2004 and 2005), to determine who might have bought this weapon and used it to kill people.


[T]he police have only “asked” for, not demanded the records, and they are only seeking to look at them, not copy them. But for those who run the NRA, who would consider a law disarming Ayman al-Zawahiri a ride along the slippery slope to a general handgun ban, this is just beyond the pale. So they trotted out one of their lobbyist friends in Tallahassee to lie about the law, to say what the police were doing was illegal — and of course launched the requisite faux-populist appeals to the same conspiratorial, anti-government, pearl-clutchers who Sarah Palin makes millions scaring the bejesus out of via rationality-challenged Facebook missives.

This kind of steely opposition to helping the police stop violent crime is echoed in the Tiahrt Amendment, which makes it effectively impossible to identify crooked dealers who knowingly sell guns to criminals.  And  conservatives have the nerve to argue that law-abiding citizens need to protect themselves from bad guys who can easily obtain guns thanks to all the loopholes those same conservatives fought for.

Cliff goes on to point out that sizable majorities of the NRA’s own membership support policies that the NRA opposes, such as requiring background checks for gun show sales, and banning gun (or explosives!) sales to suspected terrorists.  Yet despite the insanity of the NRA’s guns-everywhere-for-everyone absolutism, most Republicans (and many Democrats) still do whatever they say, and so the gun loopholes remain open.  Hell, Mr. National Security himself, Lindsey Graham courageously stood up for the Second Amendment rights of people he and his fellow Republicans consider too dangerous to allow on airplanes.

As an aside, I just wanted to point out how much the nonsensical, 2 + 2 = 1 argument that the best way to prevent violent crime is for everyone to have guns and carry them around everywhere, even bars, reminds me of other classic Republican arguments, such as:

  • The only way to prevent environmental and financial disasters is to eliminate the stifling regulations which force otherwise conscientious corporations into high-risk behavior.
  • The only way to help the poor/the unemployed/failing schools is to stop giving them money.
  • The only way to stop Islamist terrorism is to invade Muslim countries and kill and torture as many of their people as possible.
  • The only way to protect the sacred institution of marriage is to deny it to gay people.

And yet, the GOP is not only not a national laughingstock, but is poised to take a whole bunch of congressional seats in November.  If there were any doubt about how irrelevant logic is to politics, that should just about quell it.

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