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Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012

The Backlash of Ignorance

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It sure didn’t take very long for extremists to begin desperately trying to sidetrack the growing movement to finally taking intelligent steps to reduce America’s deadly epidemic of mass murders.

The slaughter of 20 first graders and six school officials in Connecticut, which caps a record year of mass murders in America, has finally shaken gun advocates in both parties into questioning the easy availability to civilians of military-style weapons of mass destruction.

Intelligent gun advocates, that is. Not those who live in some deranged fantasy world where they become celebrated heroes for saving all the children by pulling out their own deadly weapons and blowing potential mass murderers to Kingdom Come.

Most responsible law enforcement leaders, including Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, know the proliferation of guns and amateur gun battles endanger everyone’s safety. After all, their own jobs are much more dangerous in areas where civilians are heavily armed.

But Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke wants everyone to know he’s not one of those responsible law enforcement leaders.

Clarke set a new world land speed record in having his extreme views posted on teapartyperspective.com concerning the Sandy Hook school shooting and his contempt for those moved by the mass murder of children at Christmas to try to reduce gun violence.

“We have to resist with the ferociousness of a junkyard dog, any, any attempt by liberals to make us less free by chipping away at our constitutional freedoms,” Clarke wrote.

An interesting association, that. Have you ever tried to stop and have a serious, intelligent discussion with a junkyard dog about a life-or-death issue of national importance? It’s not recommended.

Also, anyone who’s read the U.S. Constitution realizes there is no constitutional provision protecting the rights of citizens to commit mass murder. But then, of course, dogs can’t read.

If tea party members, whom Clarke openly encourages to behave like vicious dogs, would read something other than their own addled websites, they’d realize it’s not only liberals who recognize the need to end America’s easy access to weapons of mass human destruction.

Thoughtful conservatives and decent human beings across the political spectrum support President Obama’s call for meaningful action.  

 

Clarke’s ‘Better Idea’: Guns Everywhere

To Clarke, however, anyone who wants to restrict anyone’s access to any gun—even guns intentionally designed for mass murder that fire 50 to 60 rounds a minute—is a damned liberal with the ultimate goal of “furthering their socialist agenda.”

As a proud liberal who strongly supports government programs that have been attacked as socialist—Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, etc.—I personally believe America’s gun laws are way too liberal.

Like other civilized countries, we need to be much more conservative regarding who is allowed to buy guns and the guns they are allowed to buy. That way many more children and adults will be around to enjoy the benefits of our socialist agenda.

Needless to say, Sheriff Clarke has a different solution, but it’s not one anyone would recognize as America. It’s an armed police state. Really.

“I have a better idea,” Clarke wrote. “An armed tactical trained officer or security officer in every school and public place (theaters, malls, etc.) in America.”

Seriously. Clarke thinks every public place in America should be under armed guard. I guess that means every classroom in every school in every community. Every movie theater in every multiplex. Every store in every mall. Every public street.

Anywhere in this country where people gather should be under the watchful gaze of armed tactical officers poised and waiting for someone to make a false move.

An additional advantage is Clarke’s imaginative plan would instantly solve America’s unemployment problem, at least for people with guns.

Clarke even suggests a handy funding source for this massive national shift into armed fascism: Get rid of environmental programs and social services for the poor or vulnerable that Clarke doesn’t support.

“How are we going to pay for it? With all the money we spend on ‘going green’ projects and other waste-of-money social service spending we do,” he wrote.  

You can find a lot of crazy stuff on tea party websites, but Clarke’s proposal has to be right up there among the most dangerously absurd. A few other Wisconsin politicians have chimed in as well to pander to the extreme right.

State Sen. Alberta Darling, once a moderate Republican board member of Planned Parenthood, is stretching her Silly Putty convictions to please her new rabidly right-wing constituents under redistricting. She’s now suggesting deadly weapons in schools and day care centers.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is vaguely opposed to restricting guns. Van Hollen’s still trying to soothe Republicans upset by his suggestion those carrying concealed weapons should have some minimal training so they don’t accidentally shoot themselves or their families.

In any serious national discussion of reducing mass gun violence, only sane proposals should be considered.

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