I’ve talked 2A with Joe Nocera a couple of times. The New York Times columnist seemed rational enough. Sure, the resulting columns
willfully lied mischaracterized my position on gun rights to score points with his gun control homies. But that’s how it is with this guy: I’m right, you’re wrong and I’m going to make you look like a nutcase and brand you an “extremist.” Yesterday’s column (published in the printed paper today), That Spineless Gun Vote, reaches a new low. Reading between the lines, I reckon Joe’s looking forward to the day when a real nutcase opens fire on innocent civilians again—so that “spineless” pro-gun pols will do the right thing and disarm their fellow citizens. Yeah it’s that cynical, starting with . . .
On April 20, 1999, Katie Lyles, a high school sophomore, was taking a math test when she heard a popping sound. “I assumed it was a prank,” she says.
It wasn’t. The fire alarm soon went off, and a teacher shouted, “This is not a drill. Go, go, go!” Katie and several classmates ran through the neighborhood, seeking shelter. All around them, they could hear the screams of sirens and the whir of helicopter blades.
Finally, a woman answered their frantic knocking. “Are you all from the high school?” she asked. When they said yes, the woman invited them in. That is where they learned that two of their fellow students at Columbine High School had gone on a murderous spree, killing 13 and wounding 21, before turning their guns on themselves.
Joe’s a great writer, but not a particularly innovative one. Kicking-off a pro-gun control polemic with a painful memory from the victim of a spree killing is such a standard anti-gun ploy the text might as well be computer-generated. INSERT HORRIFIC ANECDOTE HERE.
I know that sounds cold, but waving the bloody shirt to promote civilian disarmament is as cynical as it gets. Until it gets more cynical.
On Thursday afternoon, I spoke again to Katie Lyles. She was deeply disappointed, of course, but she wasn’t ready to give up. A few months earlier, she had testified before the Colorado State Legislature as it debated stricter gun laws, including mandatory background checks and a limit to the size of magazines. The laws passed a month ago.
“It took a long time,” she said. “Fourteen years. You can’t give up just because you lose one battle.”
She pointed out something else. Colorado has seen some of the nation’s worst gun tragedies — not just Columbine, but last year’s shooting in Aurora. “We’re a Western state,” she said. Colorado has plenty of gun owners. Yet it was still willing to pass tough new gun laws. Katie believes that all that pain Colorado has experienced is the reason.
“I fear that people are going to have to experience that pain for themselves before we can pass these bills,” she said.
“But I hope not.”
I get the distinct impression that Joe disagrees. As does the editorial writer at nj.com:
President Obama said last week’s failure on gun control was only “round 1.”
Presumably, “round 2” will come the next time somebody walks into a crowded place with an AR-15.
When tragedy strikes again, the Newtown families — joined by new victims’ relatives — are sure to remind us how the Senate betrayed the American people on gun reform . . .
Will the public be angry then? Will the majority of Americans who support reasonable gun control — including most gun owners — get as passionate as the fanatics, who consider any restriction an intolerable infringement on their rights?
What’s the bet Joe and Co. would have been be the first to say “I told you so” if the Boston bombers had used ARs instead of pressure cookers? And revel in the political fallout.
You know how the gun control crowd would spin this. We’re not the ghouls. The NRA’s and its supporters are the soulless f*cks who let these horrific homicides happen by encouraging the free flow of firearms—weapons of war!—to criminals, terrorists and crazies.
But that’s not how it is. This is how it is:
DAVIS: And here’s the other thing that drives me crazy. They trot out the victims. And I have something I want to say to the victims of Newtown, or any other shooting. I don’t care if it’s here in Minneapolis or anyplace else. Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I’m sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don’t force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss. I’m sick and tired of seeing these victims trotted out, given rides on Air Force One, hauled into the Senate well, and everyone is just afraid — they’re terrified of these victims.
EMMER: Well they’re being used — they’re being used…
DAVIS: I would stand in front of them and tell them, ‘go to hell.’
This excerpt from a Minnesota talk radio show has msnbc.com and thus nj.com up in arms. Mr. Davis apologized, but let’s face it: the host got slammed for having the wrong strong feelings.
What he should have done, according to the anti-gunners, is had such strong feelings of sympathy for spree and guilt for the victims of Aurora and Newtown that he’d throw liberty under the bus.
That strategy didn’t work after Newtown. Quite the opposite. Gun control advocates’ attempts to exploit Newtown woke a slumbering giant: millions of gun owners who decided to become politically active. And remind pols to preserve their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
That pissed off Nocera and his anti-pistol peeps no end. They’re angry that the NRA and American gun owners didn’t “meet their comeuppance” thanks to Newtown. They hope that some shocking slaughter will one day convince Americans to “come to their senses” and implement “common sense gun laws,” making the country safer for all.
How sick is that?