Why we haven't passed any gun laws nearly a year after the Sandy Hook tragedy
With the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy creeping up on us, I can’t help but reflect on where we have come since that terrible day. Much to my dismay I find myself looking back in abject disappointment and when I look at the events with a wide angle view, I have come to one singular disturbing conclusion: we did not get new gun legislation passed because the Democrats didn’t want it.
Let’s analyze our attempt at gun reform after the loss of twenty-six souls at the Sandy Hook Elementary school. Americans were shocked, horrified and outraged as we watched the details unfold. In one loud voice we as a people cried out to our “leaders” in Washington, demanding steps be taken to stop these horrible mass murders. The media carried our cries of anguish and despair and polling groups hit the streets to find out what the American people wanted.
The results of these polls were clear. In a Washington Post / ABC News poll on the issue of universal background checks, nine out of ten people polled were in favor of universal background checks. Amazingly there was no political divide among people who identified themselves as conservative and those that identified as liberal. More than 90 percent of gun owners wanted more extensive background checks. Even NRA members supported better background checks. Americans, also by an overwhelming majority support closing gun-show loopholes according to a CBS News poll.
We’ve lost roughly 30,000 people because of gun deaths since December 14th 2012 (Insert William Tell Overture here). Then, right on cue the Democrats, led by Dianne Feinstein, birthed Senate bill S. 150 The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 and we rejoiced. Then we read the bill.
There were some great things we could all agree on that were in line with polling data. However, many of the other provisions of S. 150 ensured it would never, ever become law. By reading the bill, it was abundantly clear that it was written by someone with little or no understanding of sporting firearms and home defense.
Here’s why S. 150 would never become law: the bill imposed wide sweeping definitions as to what an assault rifle was, which had little to no purpose in the weapons function. Before you close this and go on to reading something else, please let me explain.
I’m a hunter. I’m not very good at it, but I do enjoy it. I am a very conscientious hunter and I know, based on scientific study and statistics, that hunters are very necessary to maintain healthy populations of wildlife. My preferred deer rifle is my Remington 30-06. It has a magazine that holds four rounds of ammunition and is semi-automatic. This means when I fire one bullet, the gun loads the second bullet for me. However, like the provisions of S. 150, California recently enacted Section 12276.1 of California’s definition of an Assault weapon. The following modifications would make my hunting rifle an assault rifle:
a) notwithstanding section 12276 “assault weapon” shall also mean any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
(B) A thumbhole stock
(C) A folding or telescoping stock.
(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
(E) A flash suppressor.
(F) A forward pistol grip.
Now, I have no problem with people thinking that my rifle would be an assault weapon if I put a grenade launcher on it. Duh! However, what in the Sam Hill does a thumbhole stock have to do with it? If I change my stock to a synthetic stock instead of a wood stock, it is not an assault rifle, but if I put a thumbhole stock on it I can be arrested for having an unlicensed assault rifle? What the hell? The stock has absolutely nothing to do with the function of my rifle. Neither would a forward pistol grip, a folding stock or a flash suppressor. My rifle would still function exactly the same, with the same number of shots, the same rate of fire, the same accuracy, but changing the stock makes it an “assault rifle”.
Feinstein wanted to make this a federal law? No way was it going to pass. Then there were other provisions that set sports shooters teeth on edge, like the limit of magazine capacity. Personally, I have no problem with that limit because if it takes me more than three shots to hit my target I need to go back to the practicing range. However, as a hunter I spend a lot of time around sports shooters. Law abiding sports shooters that go to the range each weekend and kill paper targets. They would prefer to not have to reload all the time, but I’m sure they could live with magazine restrictions in practice, but not in principal.
They are safety conscious, law abiding citizens who have broken no laws and have no intention of breaking laws, yet this bill wanted to “punish” them for the evil of others. I get that but I think both sides have solid ground for their argument, especially when we learned that some kids managed to escape getting murdered at Sandy Hook only because they made a dash for safety when the shooter had to reload. I get that, and the sports shooters understand that point of view too.
Then, much to the delight of the head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, S. 150 went on to ban 157 specific weapons. Many of the weapons on the list are sporting weapons used by millions of Americans each week. Worse yet, some of the weapons on the list seemed to be there just because they were scary looking regardless of function and use. Let’s take the Bushmaster rifles for example. They’re very scary looking, but they’re also outstanding hunting rifles. The very thing that makes them preferred by military is what makes them ideal for hunting. They are durable, reliable, easy to maintain, if you drop it in the swamp on your way to your hunting spot your day isn’t over because it will still function safely and properly. They are ideal for a variety of extreme hunting conditions and they provide a stable and reliable target picture even after the most harsh abuse.
But here’s the problem with this weapons ban:
This Remington .308:
Functions EXACTLY the same as this Bushmaster .308.
The only difference is that one of them looks scary. You can purchase larger magazines for your granddaddy’s rifle so that changes nothing with regards to function. S. 150 was chocked full of unrealistic provisions that only sounded like a good idea to people who knew little or nothing about firearms and their use. Hundreds of thousands of Americans use their Bushmasters each and every year, in accordance with state and federal laws, to do nothing more than harvest wild game. Millions more only use them to punch holes in paper targets and to compete to see who’s the rootinest, tootenest, shootinest gun slinger east, west, north and south of the Mississippi.
A very small percentage of weapons are used unlawfully when you consider the sheer numbers of firearms in this country. Think of it this way; today 99.998 percent of all of the weapons in America will be used lawfully and will kill no one. The weapons are not the problem. To make matters worse, President Obama came out openly in support of this bill.
So here’s the question we should be asking: “With the support of the vast majority of Americans to do something, anything that would reduce the possibility of another used-tampon of a human being from walking onto a campus to carry out their deranged shooting spree; why did the Democrats make a bill that had as much chance of passing as I have of becoming the next American supermodel? Sadly, there are only four answers to that question.
1: They are stupid.
2: They are incompetent.
3: They are delusional.
4: They didn’t want to do anything in the first place.
Parading this bill onto the public square was bad enough, but when President Obama publicly supported it, he gave “ammunition” to every right wing conspiracy nut with a keyboard and internet access. That’s right friends and neighbors; the Kenyan socialist was in fact trying to come take their guns. I thought Laura Ingraham was going to orgasm live on the air when she was ranting about it.
When I consider the optional answers, I find it far more likely that they didn’t really want to do anything in the first place. They just wanted the American people to shut the hell up until we got distracted by some shiny object someplace else in the political spectrum. As a people we have the attention span of a goldfish.
It’s all about appealing to the base by jerking them off. In the beginning, twenty-six lives were lost and America was incensed and distraught. This caused the Democrats to bring out a bill to parade around the stage and say “Look! WE, the Democrats, are actually doing something” which made their base happy and we touched ourselves. The Republicans naturally pointed out what a load of crap the bill was and were able to legitimately say that Democrats were trying to take away peoples guns, which made their base angry and they touched themselves.
The bill died a horrible death. This allowed the Democrats to say “We tried very hard to do something, but those nasty Republicans wouldn’t let us.” Even Obama came out and said how disappointed he was in Congress. This made the liberals happy and let them blame Republican obstructionism. On the other side, the Republicans got to say “See, we are doing our job and we protected your Second Amendment rights from Obama and those nasty liberals”, which made their base happy. In the end, all the American people got in the form of new weapon Legislation was waste baskets full of used tissue and crusty panties.
Nothing was accomplished and we’re not irate about it! Are we not looking toward our elected officials with disgust? As a result, we as nation are not boxing our poop and mailing it to representatives each and every day in protest. (Don’t do that! The postal system has very strict rules when it comes to mailing poop and bioterrorism. Do not mail your poop to your congressional representative or anyone else!)
The list of these sorts of “Legislative Masturbation” bills seems to be nearly endless since President Obama took office and both sides have been doing it. Hell, look at the number of times the Republicans in the House have passed bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Each and every bill had zero chance of passing the Senate and making their way onto President Obama’s desk, but by gosh they voted for it again and again with a song in their heart and the sounds of donations ringing in their ears. Every time the house sent their “Repeal Obamacare” bill to the Senate the sale of lotion and tissue skyrocketed in Republican districts. They make their base happy and nothing changed. Each side blames the other and we the people stand there, dicks in our hands and blaming the guy standing next to us wearing some T-shirt with a stupid slogan.
The American people have a dysfunctional and non-operational circle-jerk government for a reason: we voted for them. We get so wrapped up in the talking points and arguing on social media that we have forgotten what we started fighting for. There are countless videos on YouTube about clueless Tea Party rallies that prove that many of them have no idea why they are there or what the facts are. But, there are also a nearly equal number, of the exact same sort of videos when Liberals get together in outrage. For people like the Koch brothers, there is no greater porn than watching Americans fuck themselves because they can’t work together.