In the aftermath of the Arizona shootings, I’m glad our political/media elite have been able to cover their political tracks. Condemn the tragedy. Condemn the discourse. Condemn the blame. Then proceed to blame the most politically expedient target with the same old discourse – vague false equivalencies and all.
It’s all about you.
It took about an hour for me to realize our political discourse won’t change. Without commenting on the AZ shooter specifically (though the Right has clearly determined him to be a ‘marxist liberal’ because of a facebook reading list that included beloved heroes of the Left, Adolph Hitler and Ayn Rand), the facts remain that the last couple years have seen a rise in anti-government violence (great read @ Perrspectives). Though the effect political rhetoric had on these incidents is debatable, the hyperdefensive reactions of the Right’s leaders lends itself to an implication of guilt. Or there are just a lot of delusional clowns who will double-down on any ridiculous rhetoric for political or financial gain.
But of course, political rhetoric never has any effect on anyone, anytime, anywhere. So we can just leave that alone. Just grab your 15 minutes and move along.
What’s further disheartening about this incident is the failure to honestly address issues of common sense gun control. I’m a Second Amendment supporter and believe in the right to bear arms. However, (like 1st amendment rights, for instance) these rights are not absolute. Gun-show loopholes, the need of certain semi-automatic weapons, and the ease with which mentally disturbed can obtain a gun are all issues that we should be mature enough to productively discuss. Of course, mental health issues do not sit in a 2nd Amendment vacuum, and have much cross-over with access to health care and other issues. But alas, this debate will not be had. More time needs to be allocated to Right/Left finger-pointing and what this means for the next election – the only story the Media loves to cover more than a dead celebrity.
So I’m not surprised to read about this story that seems to tie a ribbon on what we haven’t learned in the last few days.
A South Carolina gun and accessories company is selling semi-automatic rifle components inscribed with “You lie” – a tribute to the infamous words of 2nd District Republican Congressman Joe Wilson when he shouted at President Barack Obama during a congressional speech about national health care reform in the fall of 2009.
“Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new ‘You Lie’ AR-15 lower receiver,” reads a portion of the company’s website.
The company’s site has since scrubbed their effort to romanticize disrespectful congressional rudeness with commemorative firearms. A little more
guilt PR? Great for hunting lying game. ‘Really, duck? That ‘quack’ was clearly disingenuous. Prepare to die.’
Joe Wilson is the best.
As for the shooting of Rep. Giffords and the other victims, I don’t really have much else to say that hasn’t been said. The facts will be the facts. The conjecture will be the conjecture. Behavior won’t change and no one will learn shit. It’s a really sad story.