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Friday, 18 January 2013 07:11

Sensible Gun Laws vs. Right-Wing Maneuvering

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Aside from the terrible loss of life and excuse-laden barrage of nonsense put out by the NRA, the most insulting assault on public sensibility may be the shameless attempts by some on the right to suggest seemingly rational alternatives to sensible gun laws


Those who are incapable of grasping the gravity of what happened in Newtown or, like Rush Limbaugh, have the temerity to make light of it with ill-chosen attempts at humor, seem to have lost the capacity to think and feel like normal human beings, to imagine what it must be like to see your child so badly wounded as to be all but unrecognizable, a tiny little body riddled with bullets, missing a hand or foot.  It is impossible to underestimate the depravity of those in our society who are beyond the reach of decency, having given themselves over to the lowest impulses on the planet in a pornographic salute to money lenders and political savages. The fact that Limbaugh and others like him have grown rich spewing their hate-filled messages across the airwaves is a frightening indictment of the kind of behavior we have come to accept.


Equally disturbing, if not as vitriolic, former senator Jim DeMint enjoyed a long segment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. As if he were a worthy spokesman for a conservative view, he was treated with deference in his new position as head of the Heritage Foundation. The foundation, contrary to the impression being fostered by Joe and Jim, isn’t just your run-of-the-mill conservative group; it is, for the most part, a heavy-handed right-wing organization that earned its bona fides that morning by holding off on taking a definitive position regarding the deadly shooting incident at Newtown. After all, DeMint opined, we shouldn’t rush to enact legislation before carefully considering the complexities inherent in the second amendment and the rights it guaranteed to all citizens.


It remains a mystery how multi-round clips and assault-style guns are viewed by gun enthusiasts as part of a second-amendment right. In fact, retired General McChrystal says that while he carried assault rifles in Afghanistan, he sees so reason for civilians here to be armed with such weapons. General Wesley Clarke says anyone anxious to use an assault weapon should join the army, where there are plenty of them. Perhaps strict constitutionalists might consider returning to the original kind of guns that were used in the early days, i.e, single-load muskets, instead of stretching the second amendment to include more exotic killing machines.


How meaningless right-wing principles have become whether they relate to guns, morals or health care. When DeMint and others held a prayer vigil for the purpose of defeating the health-care bill, it didn’t seem to occur to them how silly they looked or how wastefully they spent their prayerful moments. Doing unto others … has lost its meaning, and we are left with a senseless harangue celebrated by foolish people who have little to offer anyone seeking solutions and harmonious relationships.