Prosecute the torture.

January 13, 2011

Political Rancor - Arizona Tea Party Style

These Arizona Tea Party Types are surely a nice bunch. They're even tempered and they play nice with others.

Only not so much when they don't:
A nasty battle between factions of Legislative District 20 Republicans and fears that it could turn violent in the wake of what happened in Tucson on Saturday prompted District Chairman Anthony Miller and several others to resign.

Miller, a 43-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills resident and former campaign worker for U.S. Sen. John McCain, was re-elected to a second one-year term last month. He said constant verbal attacks after that election and Internet blog posts by some local members with Tea Party ties made him worry about his family's safety.
And then:
Miller said when he was a member of McCain's campaign staff last year has been criticized by the more conservative party members who supported Republican opponent J.D. Hayworth. The first and only African-American to hold the party's precinct chairmanship, Miller said he has been called "McCain's boy," and during the campaign saw a critic form his hand in the shape of a gun and point it at him.

"I wasn't going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller said. "I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."
Hmm...now why would an African-American man possibly object to being called someone's "boy"? I mean we all know there's no racism in the Tea Party, right? So this must be one big misunderstanding, right? What we have here is a failure to communicate.

And the hand in the shape of a gun? That's simply a reflection of that Tea Partier's enduring respect for those "Second Amendment" solutions spoken about so glowingly by that other Tea Party favorite, Sharon Angle. Reminds us of something, Joyce Kaufman a Florida Tea partier and talk radio host is quoted as saying:
If ballots don’t work, bullets will.
Of course there's no overheated rhetoric on the far-right. Of course not.

Very respectful of disagreement, these tea partiers. Very respectful.

18 comments:

rich10e said...

Bill Maher leftist racist..."“I thought that when we elected a black president we were going to get a black president.” " Maher then goes on to wish that the prez carried a gun and used the words "Mothah Fuckah " when dealing with corporates heads.Maher glamorizes the stereotypical gangsta thug as a role model for a black president.Oh that's right, that was comedy,by a leftist, that's acceptable!!! The left always gets a pass from their fellow travelers.

Elliot Kennel said...

When we were kids, and our parents called us on our bad behavior, we sometimes tried to justify it by saying, "well, my brother does it!"

So if one party is called out because of its actions, it's not really relevant whether the other party does the same thing or not. Just clean up the mess in your room. We'll worry about the mess in your brother's room, so you don't have to fuss about that.

Piltdown Man said...

Rich -

Let me try to clarify this for you.

When a "liberal" hears invective from a fellow leftist, they often flinch. I'm not a big fan of Maher, despite his liberal leanings. I put him in the same camp as most "entertainers," in that, his main cause celebre is to, well, entertain and get good ratings -- so that he'll still have a job, and make a pot load of money.

Similar to Dennis Miller, who I worked with a million years ago in Pittsburgh. My guess is that Dennis decided to go from anti-establishment guy to right wing wanker when he saw that he could make more money touting the establishment line. After all, he's not William F. Buckley, he's a freakin' yinzer comedian who happened to be in the right place at the right time. Ditto Maher. Ditto Stewart.

So get this straight. For better or worse, we don't buy into everything "our" commentators say.

For better or worse, this in one of the great defying differences between the the right and the left, at least as I see it; the right will support any posit made by its vocal leaders, such as Limbaugh or Beck -- while the left will not.

Pilt

EdHeath said...

There are two points here, rich.

First, this is about the behaviour of *elected* and other party members, making threatening gestures as opposed to makes jokes about a third party. But as Elliot said, if you can find one liberal ever did anything wrong, then all conservatives are forgiven for anything they have ever said, and no one is allowed to complain (for example, for the phrase "blood libel").

Second, conservatives/Republicans have been opposing gun control for decades, backed by the threats of the NRA. That opposition contributed to the tragedy in Tucson, Az. But again, liberals whining about the senseless deaths of hundreds or thousands is totally unimportant compared to the needs of true patriots to water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants (and perhaps inadvertently some small children).

Ol' Froth said...

Shorter Rich:

Look over heeeeeeerrrrrr!!!!!

Pgh_Knight said...

"That opposition contributed to the tragedy in Tucson, Az."

Really? Please...

You really must explain that one to me Ed. Unless, of course, it's one of those "it's just my personal belief" things again.

gtl said...

knight,

Only if a judge has ruled someone mentally incompetent, can they be denied a handgun. Efforts to tighten those rules, in the wake of the massacre at Va. Tech, were opposed by the NRA, and were defeated. In the current massacre, Loughner was able to legally buy his Glock 17. Is it such a stretch to think that NRA opposition contributed to the current massacre?

EdHeath said...

Knight, when the Assault Weapon ban was not renewed in 2005 (I believe was the date), those 30 round magazines for Glock pistols were made legal for purchase. Hence my statement. Not so much personal belief as verifiable fact.

You could make a case that Democrats in Congress could have passed a new ban in the last couple of years if they really cared. But I think that while Obama cares about such things, I don't think he would lobby for it because he doesn't want to validate conservatives accusations that he is some kind of radical socialist. That last sentence qualifies as a personal belief of mine.

Pgh_Knight said...

I agree with what you stated just there as verifiable fact. It is your chain of causation I have a problem with.

Is the vehicle manufacturer that the gunman rode to the event a contributor?

EdHeath said...

Knight, no one says that we need stronger vehicle regulations for the possibly mentally ill or anyone else to keep them from driving to a place where they might shoot someone. There are the occasional calls for stronger regulations on senior citizen driving, or for vehicle safeguards to prevent the inebriated from driving, but I assume that was not what you had in mind.

But since there was a previous legal ban on magazines larger than 10 rounds, part of the larger assault weapon ban, and since conservatives both here and in general have been among the strongest advocates of the most broad definition of the second amendment (ie the most weapons and the least restriction on sales), I lay some blame for contributing to the magnitude of the Tucson tragedy. I would also lay some blame on the NRA, the people behind the scenes in this situation.

The people who oppose gun control know that guns are used to shoot Americans.They know that there are studies that show Americans who own guns are more likely to suffer injury or death through accidental shootings, suicide or in using the gun in a moment of passion on a family member or someone they know. There are studies that show that the chance of using the gun to defeat a home invasion is very small, and that anyway a 911 call is more effective and likely to result in fewer deaths. All these things are known, yet the slight possibility that the US government may turn tyrannical is worth lives a day. Frankly, when African Americans were slaves, and even now when they re heavily discriminated against in this country, I shouldn't blame them for taking up arms against the US government.

Pgh_Knight said...

Over Christmas, I had dinner with a couple from Holland. Over there, all gun are illegal. The gentleman told me that it makes no impact on gun related crime, as the criminals have them and KNOW their victims do not. Further, calling the police is a waste of time. That's from someone who lives it. He is looking forward to the time when he is legally allowed to own a gun.

That said, the assault weapons ban would have done nothing to prevent this incident. Making all guns illegal would have done nothing to prevent this tragedy.

Piltdown Man said...

PK -

Well, I guess since we have the highly-researched and sourced information from one of your friends in The Netherlands (the actual name of the country, unless you're referring just to the area south and north of Amsterdam...) we should change all our plans and opinions. Besides, I did a quick check on the Internets and found this link, which seems to not even show The Netherlands in the top 32 nations of per capita murders with firearms. But that is beside the point, really.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir_percap-crime-murders-firearms-per-capita

Now, to say that the assault weapon ban would not have had an effect on this crime is just flat out wrong, as Ed has noted. The inability of the shooter to attain an extended clip was part of that law, and, as such, he would have only been able to shoot something like 10-12 people before reloading -- at which time we can expect the scenario of brave people jumping him would have occurred. How does that not compute for you? Would it have stopped the shooting? No. But a few people would still have their loved ones around today. Can you tell me that doesn't matter? Ever have a friend or family member die? Do you get it?

The gun lobby is a carbon copy of the abortion lobby -- and they use the same argument, the "slippery slope" theory. With guns, they say that, "If you give a little bit now, pretty soon the guv'ment is gonna come and take all your guns." This is why the assault ban was left to die on the vine. No one has the balls to tell the truth.

But it's all specious. Do you honestly think that, if some President wanted to "go rogue" and begin some massive infringement on our rights that a bunch of yahoos with shotguns and Glocks are going to stop him? The guy who holds the power over the entire military? You know, those guys with 400 millions bombs and guns and tanks and attack helicopters and fighter planes? Really kiddo, this isn't 1776 and we aren't going to protect our homesteads with rifles and pitchforks -- so stop dreaming. It's a political straw dog and you're being played for a sucker.

Piltdown Man said...

PK -

Well, I guess since we have the highly-researched and sourced information from one of your friends in The Netherlands (the actual name of the country, unless you're referring just to the area south and north of Amsterdam...) we should change all our plans and opinions. Besides, I did a quick check on the Internets and found this link, which seems to not even show The Netherlands in the top 32 nations of per capita murders with firearms. But that is beside the point, really.

http://bit.ly/4iF9Or

Now, to say that the assault weapon ban would not have had an effect on this crime is just flat out wrong, as Ed has noted. The inability of the shooter to attain an extended clip was part of that law, and, as such, he would have only been able to shoot something like 10-12 people before reloading -- at which time we can expect the scenario of brave people jumping him would have occurred. How does that not compute for you? Would it have stopped the shooting? No. But a few people would still have their loved ones around today. Can you tell me that doesn't matter? Ever have a friend or family member die? Do you get it?

The gun lobby is a carbon copy of the abortion lobby -- and they use the same argument, the "slippery slope" theory. With guns, they say that, "If you give a little bit now, pretty soon the guv'ment is gonna come and take all your guns." This is why the assault ban was left to die on the vine. No one has the balls to tell the truth.

But it's all specious. Do you honestly think that, if some President wanted to "go rogue" and begin some massive infringement on our rights that a bunch of yahoos with shotguns and Glocks are going to stop him? The guy who holds the power over the entire military? You know, those guys with 400 millions bombs and guns and tanks and attack helicopters and fighter planes? Really kiddo, this isn't 1776 and we aren't going to protect our homesteads with rifles and pitchforks -- so stop dreaming. It's a political straw dog and you're being played for a sucker.

gtl said...

night,

I can accept that the Assault Weapons Ban would not have prevented Mr. Loughner from carrying out his attack. Given that he was tackled while making his re-load, though, I do think that a case can be made that casualties would have been lower, if he'd had to reload after his 11th shot (10+1 in the chamber).

I do have to ask, though: What is the basis for your statement that " Making all guns illegal would have done nothing to prevent this tragedy." You're saying that, if the shooter, a man with no particular criminal background, but with mental health issues, would still have carried out his rampage, if a total gun ban had been in place? How would that work?

EdHeath said...

Knight, I guess you are saying that if there was a total gun ban in the US, Loughner still would have got hold of a gun, presumably because of his extensive criminal connections ... except that he didn't have any.

And Pilt's 4:40 point that the Netherlands is not in the top 32 of countries with murder by gun is telling. Not that I doubt the point of view of your friend, but apparently the statistics don't bear out his anecdotal point of view, FWIW.

I believe the US leads the First World (Europe, parts of Asia) in per capita murders by gun. So the notion the other countries that have stricter gun control have worse rates because only criminals have guns seems less forceful.

But do we care about statistical realities? Should we take them into account when considering policy?

Pgh_Knight said...

Our differences of opinion are simple:

You believe stricter gun laws will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, where I do not.

I believe that individuals are responsible for their own actions, as where you believe in assigning "blame" down longer chains of causation.

But... here is something I think we can agree on: GO STEELERS!!!

EdHeath said...

Knight, sure, I will go with "GO Steelers!"

I do want to say that I am capable of looking at issues in more than one way. I will absolutely agree that individuals who break the law should be held responsible for the crime. They knew they were breaking the law, and did it anyway.

Now, as a public policy matter, if more jobs in a poorer neighborhood will reduce future crime, I say follow a jobs policy.

And finally, you need to explain to me why West European countries, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have lower gun homicide, accidental gun death and suicide rates (I believe Switzerland might have a similar male gun suicide rate to us, but every adult make from 18 to 54 has a gun). Most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have stricter guns laws than us, and better statistics.

Of course, my point of view incorporates the notion that public policy should serve the best interests of the people. Is there some other way to look at this? How well is the government serving you if you are dead, and the government might have been able to prevent that?

Piltdown Man said...

OK. I'm with you on the Stiller, too. Thanks for taking moment to insert so humor and good will!

Listen, I am certainly not the image of what you may think an anti-gun liberal is; I grew up with guns, was hunting when I was 14, went through required gun training and poured over the Herter's catalogue for hunting and camping gear....so I have some understanding about this...

My belief is that fewer guns would mean fewer gun crimes, in the same way that fewer cars on the roads leads to fewer highway deaths. Is it going to be a miracle cure? No. But I believe it's a start....

Pilt