Tue Dec 18, 2012, 12:33 PM
meegbear (24,979 posts)
The Rude Pundit: On Guns, the Crazies Make the Laws
As a nation, when it comes to our safety, we have allowed ourselves to be led by the craziest, most paranoid among us. It's a result of a number of things over the last 20-30 years, but, most recently, it's been evident in the our delusional approach to dealing with potential terrorism. You want new evidence? Howzabout this: Last week, the Transportation Safety Administration agents at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport "held a young girl – away from her parents – for an hour while trying to figure out why she tested positive for explosives." It gets even worse. The twelve year-old girl suffers from a brittle bones disease and is confined to a wheelchair. She was on her way to Tampa to get treatment. It gets even worse. She was selected at random for an explosives swabbing test. When she tested positive, she remained crying for an hour, in public, in her wheelchair, at the metal table at security while the inarticulate bumblefucks tried to see if she was going to blow up. And they wouldn't let her Mom sit with her.
Why is the TSA's latest attempt to stops al-Qaeda's brigades of bomb-ready disabled children relevant to the discussion of gun control? Two reasons: First, the completely incoherent and unrealistic airport security policies demonstrate how deeply paranoia guides our nation's thinking. And, yes, the line between security and absurdity is narrow. But let's be generous about it and say, "Fine. I'll take off my fucking shoes because no one wants to the plane to blow up."
However, and this is the second reason, that girl in the wheelchair thinks that she tested positive for explosives because she lives on a farm and she wheeled over fertilizer, the kind of fertilizer that is widely used on, you know, farms, but has also been used to make bombs, like the one in Oklahoma City, which had nothing to do with planes, but, still.
Say you go to a farm store, or, hell, even a reasonably large Home Depot garden center. Say you buy a "large quantity of pesticides, combustibles, or fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate out of season or with cash." Or perhaps you fail to state a "legitimate agricultural use for product" you are buying. As far as the FBI and local terrorism task forces are concerned, you are suspicious. As a 2011 FBI memo to such stores said, "Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate."
You got that? The FBI or DHS might pay you a visit if you quietly buy too much of a certain kind of fortified shit. If you are a child in a wheelchair, chosen at random at an airport, and you have fortified shit residue on your hands because you touched the wheels of your chair, you will be held until the truth about the fortified shit residue is ascertained.
But if you are on the terrorist watch list, you can buy all the goddamn guns you want, as long as you're not disqualified for other reasons (like not being a citizen, because legal immigrants don't need to be safe). When Republican Peter King, generally a bastard, tried to get a bill to close this loophole, it was killed in committee, mostly because the NRA opposed it because freedom and tyranny.
If keeping a crippled child away from her mother because you're afraid she's got a bomb, even when a search produces no bomb, seems fine but allowing Americans on the terrorist watch list to buy guns seems logical, then you are crazy. We've surrendered our ability to regulate or ban gun ownership to the crazies, and their insanity has caused bodies to stack up every day.
How do you know someone is crazy? Wait, let's call 'em "guntards" because fuck them. How do you know someone is a guntard?
Anyone who thinks that teachers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons is a fucking idiot. Putting aside the inevitable,
how much shit is stolen from schools? From teachers? You want to add guns to that mix? How quickly will a school be shot up by a student stealing a handgun from a teacher? Maybe that's the price to pay in blood to make sure a kindergarten teacher is armed and ready.
Anyone who thinks that they should own assault rifles because the government might need to be confronted is mentally ill and should be treated as such. (Do you know how quickly the military could vaporize you if it really wanted to? Your AR-15 ain't gonna stop a drone, but, hey, it'll make for funny video for the soldiers back at Fort Collins.) Anyone who thinks they should own assault rifles because they're fun to fire and, gosh, it's just a hobby should be ignored because they fetishize the act of shooting like someone who gets off huffing sweaty shoes. In fact, let's just say that anyone who believes individuals should own assault weapons is out of the discussion because there is no rational reason for it.
This sounds like the Rude Pundit is only talking about the extremists. But our current policy is made by extremists, voted on by politicians cowed by the NRA and other right-wing groups. Fuck, President Obama has made it easier to carry concealed weapons. To what end? A nation that believes it's so dangerous out there that everyone should be armed is a nation that has given up on any solutions beyond isolationism and paranoia.
Don't worry, guntards. No one's gonna take all the guns away. We're not idealists in the United States anymore. We prefer bandages to stitches. But we gotta do something.
More tomorrow. But right now, right this second, the federal government should halt all gun purchases requiring an FBI background check. That'll slow the surge in assault rifle sales that's happening in a pathetic anti-tribute to the dead of Newtown. Obama said he'd do what he could with his office. There's a step he can take immediately while we all figure out what comes next.
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