Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Few (Very) Scattered And Random Thoughts About The Gun Control Debate.

While I've been away the past few weeks (and not blogging) I have been paying attention to the various happenings on Capitol Hill, and saw some of yesterday's Congressional hearing on gun control. Much of the hearing was the expected circus of Democrats insisting they don't want to take anyone's guns (although gun control without confiscation is like safe sex without a condom) and Republicans blaming everything but auto/semiautomatic weapons for the spate of recent public shootings. Seriously, if I hear one more old man blame rap music or Call Of Duty for Newtown, I'm gonna go postal.[1]

That said, here's a handful of scattered thoughts:
Where Is The President? - Yes, I know he sorta delegated this to Joe Biden, and Biden's done a good job keeping this topic in the public eye and pushing the President's agenda. But why isn't Obama being more vocal about this? I know he has to multitask, so I'm not questioning that. But one thing really struck me as dishonest recently. The President indicated that he respects the rights of gun owners because, well, he skeet shoots at Camp David. Sorry, POTUS, but I know pandering when I hear it. That's pandering of the worst kind. While I don't doubt that the President has shot skeet at some point, bringing it up as a way to tell gun owners "I'm one of you" is just silly, pointless, and undermines his point. I went to a Caps game once, but I wouldn't tell anyone I'm a hockey fan. Likewise, the President resorting to lowest common factor populism just reaks of this.[2] He should stop it.

Where Is "Urban America"? - We all know that this whole gun debate is only happening because of how and where the last tragedy occurred. And while I'm happy that it's finally happening, I can't help but worry that it's misguided in many ways. Chicago's lengthy spate of gun-related deaths barely even came up during these debates, and only then as a foil by the GOP for why gun control doesn't work. And they're actually right. Most "urban crimes" don't happen with semi-automatic guns, nor are they perpetrated by people who would fail background checks because they are deemed mentally incompetent. None of the proposed legislation will stop one brother from killing another over a pair of sneakers. It's disingenuous for the Democrats to ignore this, just as it's disgusting to see Conservatives pretend to care about black people killing each other in the name of not doing anything at all on gun control. As a guy who lives in a place much more like Newtown than the South Side Of The Chi, I'd personally like to see these problem looked at from a 360 degree perspective. Of course this won't happen.

Gabby Giffords Is An Angel. - You are not a human being if you aren't the least bit moved by this.

Of course, not everyone's a human being.[3] In fact, I'm not exactly sure what species Michelle Malkin is, but I think it should be eradicated.

Wayne LaPierre Is An A$$hole. - What more need I say? Does this guy realize how much of a douche he comes across as? He obviously doesn't care, but maybe he should. Everytime he opens his vile mouth, he only helps undermine whatever point he's trying to make. Pretending everything but restricting certain types of guns from being sold is the fix is dishonest and smarmy. Like it or not, public perception on this issue has changed. That sorta happens when 20 kids are mowed down at school. Deal with it.

Nothing Is Gonna Come Of This. Nothing. - Democrats are scared of losing seats in 2014 if they push for real gun control. Republicans are scared of LaPierre and the NRA. I'm not 100% certain the President really cares about this issue or if he's just giving it the usual lip service. In the end, I suspect the Executive Orders he passed will be the only lasting changes of significance in the area of gun control. It pains me to say that, but that's just where we are as a country.
Question: What are your thoughts on how this debate has played out so far? What will happen in the end?

[1] No, I actually won't. That's called "hyperbole", just in case the Feds is watchin'.

[2] 10,000 Cyber CapriSuns to the first person who can explain this to the rest of the class.

[3] Read the comments. Or don't.

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