Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gun Fury: Newtown Parents In Washington

I wasn't going to do this, but the efforts of some (not all) of the Newtown parents to guilt-trip Americans into surrendering their Second Amendment rights have really crossed a line. Here is "Newtown mom" Francine Wheeler giving the president's weekly address:
Francine Wheeler blinked past her tears, looked straight into the camera and asked Americans to push for tougher gun laws, drawing on courage she said comes from the memory of her 6-year-old son, Ben, murdered in his first-grade classroom in Newtown, Connecticut. 
"His boundless energy kept him running across the soccer field long after the game was over," said Wheeler, describing her son during what is usually President Barack Obama's weekly Saturday address to the nation. 
"He couldn't wait to get to school every morning," she said, her voice breaking, her husband David beside her, sighing and swallowing hard. 
The address was the culmination of a week of emotional pleas in Washington from families of the 26 people killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14. 
"To us, it feels as if it happened just yesterday," Wheeler said, recounting the horror of waiting at the firehouse after the shooting "for the boy who would never come home." 
The massacre has spurred Obama to propose new restrictions on guns - politically difficult measures in a country where constitutional rights to own guns are defended by powerful lobby groups like the National Rifle Association. 
Obama brought the Newtown families to Washington on Monday aboard Air Force One after he gave a speech in Connecticut urging action on his plans.
I'm sorry, but does Wheeler, or anyone else, honestly think her pain over losing her son is not something that would be shared by any decent parent in her position, even the dread Wayne LaPierres or Ted Cruzes of the world? What happened to Ben Wheeler and his classmates was awful. Just awful. I couldn't stand to watch news coverage of the event. Don't even get me started on the political ghouls like Michael Bloomberg and Diane Feinstein who leaped for the cameras before lunchtime on that terrible Friday morning, seeing an opportunity to "win" a political argument they had lost years ago. But, Wheeler's pain is universal. It has nothing to say about gun control, background checks, or the other ephemera that the Senate is debating. 

We're not supposed to attack Wheeler and her cohort, but I have to ask what was the point of her presentation. She addresses nothing about the substance of the pending gun control bills, or how they might or might not be constitutional. I don't even know if the murder of her son has changed her views on gun control. She's an upper-income woman from suburban Connecticut. Odds are, she didn't like guns before 12/14/12, and would have supported the president's efforts at anytime, regardless of her circumstances. 

And, let's talk about the president and his "efforts" to address Newtown. What's he done? Made some speeches denouncing the opposition and acting like he - the president of the United States - is being thwarted by dark forces led by the NRA and/or Mitch McConnell. I can't do anything! he seems to moan. Bullsh*t. There's plenty he could do above and beyond his flurry of executive orders. (how's it going implementing those, btw? Did he ever follow through on his order to himself to nominate a new ATF chief?) The president is, after all, the president. He runs the executive branch! He could get out there and actually go after the bad guys he claims to want to put of business: the criminals committing gun crimes and the gun runners making illegal weapons sales. He could lead a national "conversation" about violent video games and movies. He could get behind an effort to resolve the vexing mental health questions that arise from these events. (and address the unspoken question of whether psychotropic drugs have played any role in the psychoses of mass killers). 

But all Obama's doing right now is making Republican Senators squirm on Meet The Press, and that might be all he accomplishes because - and this is the biggest joke - everyone knows that whatever legislation manages to pass out of Congress would not have stopped Adam Lanza or anyone else from committing mass murder. 

Is that what Ben Wheeler's blood is going to buy? The temporary discomfort of some RINO's who probably secretly agree with his grieving mother anyway? 

As an example of how a president who is serious about solving a seemingly intractable problem, look at how the Reagan Administration waged the War On Drugs. Sure, there was some legislating involved, especially with the notorious mandatory sentencing laws; but the president didn't sit around waiting for Congress to act. The Justice Department and other cabinet departments were mobilized to focus on drug interdiction and prosecution. On the PR side, there was Nancy Reagan's earnest and effective "Just Say No" campaign, along with a million PSA's culminating in the famous "This is your brain on drugs" commercial. We can sit around arguing how effective all of this was,  but there is no doubt that an executive branch committed to a particular policy can throw a lot of resources around in a hurry. 

So is Obama prosecuting gun crimes? No. In fact, such prosecutions have declined under his watch. How hard would it be to call Eric Holder and tell him to turn this around? About as hard as Ronaldus placing a telephone call to Ed Meese I would imagine.

Is the Obama administration going after gun runners or underground dealers? Are you kidding? They ran the biggest gun running operation in history! Plus, I just don't think there are any sort of large-scale underground gun dealers out there, anti-gun propaganda notwithstanding. Why would there be?

Is the Obama Administration producing PSA's about gun safety? (Moms & Dads, don't leave your freaking weapons lying around! Especially when you know your son is a nut!) Of course not, and they are demonizing the one organization out there that does, the NRA, which produces a wealth of gun safety information.  

When is the First Black President going to use his bully pulpit to address the perpetrators of the vast majority of gun crimes: young black men? 

It's not as if these would be controversial. Wayne LaPierre, at his much maligned post-Newtown press conference called on the president to do the above, and more. The NRA wants criminals rounded up and sent to prison whether they are Adam Lanza or anonymous South Side wanna-be's. They just don't want law abiding citizens to be hassled along the way. 

Most important, maybe, the president might want to take a look at his rhetoric, and that of his fellow progressives, over the last 4 years. A lot of it has focused its vitriol on the wealthy and well-to-do, always with the subtext that their wealth is somehow misappropriated. Who did Adam Lanza target, after all? The children of the 1% whom we are told are responsible for all that is wrong in American society. Children who were born into what many on the left consider the white power structure. 

Sure you can say Adam Lanza was crazy or evil, but why couldn't have this been a political act, no different than a Palestinian blowing himself up at a school bus stop? 

I know there's a show biz aspect to politics, but this "Mrs. Wheeler Goes To Washington" routine is so bogus you can practically see the wires and the blue-screen. No one doubts her pain and anguish. How could you? But, she is going as a human shield to shut down debate, a phenomenon first identified by Ann Coulter years ago. We're not supposed to criticize her, yet she is flying around in Air Force One and is being shuttled to meetings with numerous Senators by lobbyists and a former "strategist" for Bill Clinton. (among his noble bits of strategy was navigating Slick's bimbo eruptions. Why would you want to shake hands with this guy, let alone let him shepherd you around Capitol Hill?) Are Americans supposed to watch this soap opera and collapse on to their fainting couches en masse? Apparently. 

The GOP will always be the Stupid Party, but Democrats are crafting arguments designed to appeal to stupid people. I'll take honest stupidity any time. 

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