Democrats Scramble To Exploit the AZ Shooting With Anti-Gun And Anti-Speech Legislation
posted at 4:50 pm on January 10, 2011 by Cassy Fiano
Originally posted at David Horowitz’s Newsreal:
The nation is still reeling after the horrific mass shooting in Arizona this weekend, which left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life, multiple bystanders injured, and six dead, including a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge. People were clamoring for answers, and the left wasted no time blaming the tragedy on Sarah Palin and the tea party. Once the shooter was identified, it quickly became clear that Jared Lee Loughner was an anti-government, anti-religion nut with no discernible ties to any political figure. Democrats in Congress, meanwhile, had bigger fish to fry than just Sarah Palin. Remembering the leftist mantra of “never let a crisis go to waste”, they quickly jumped into action, eager to exploit the tragedy to push forward anti-Constitutional legislation.
First up is Rep. Robert Brady, who wants to introduce legislation making it a crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as a threat against a member of Congress or a federal official. Get that? He doesn’t want to bother with actual threats anymore. He wants the government to decide just what kind of speech is threatening and what isn’t.
Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pennsylvania, said he will introduce legislation making it a federal crime for a person to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official.
Brady’s decision to offer the legislation comes less than 24 hours after a gunman attempted to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, in a shooting that claimed the lives of a federal judge, and a nine year-old girl, among others.
“The president is a federal official,” Brady said in a telephone interview with CNN. “You can’t do it to him; you should not be able to do it to a congressman, senator or federal judge.
“This is not a wake up call, this is major alarms going off,” he said.
Rep. Brady is clearly referring to the now infamous map Sarah Palin used to illustrate Democrats in districts McCain carried in 2008 who voted for Obamacare.
Of course, Sarah Palin is hardly an anomaly in using this kind of rhetoric. Democrats used an almost identical-style map, and Markos Moulitsas urged his followers to put a bullseye on moderate Democrats, including Gabrielle Giffords. (Michelle Malkin has more on the left’s culture of hate.)
There will always be any number of people who look to push the envelope. And military style-rhetoric in politics is nothing new, from Clinton’s war room to Palin’s target map. It doesn’t make it right to start legislating speech just because it makes some people feel uncomfortable. The truth, as any person possessing a modicum of common sense could tell you, is that there is a world of difference between someone publishing an overt threat — “I want to kill ______ ” — and putting targets on a map urging people to vote the congressmen featured out. This is simply an easy way for lawmakers like Rep. Baker to infringe on our constitutional right to free speech and to silence political opponents.
After all, what would the ramifications be if this legislation were to pass? Anything that could be perceived as a threat isn’t exactly specific criteria for what is and isn’t a crime. And it could lead to some pretty sickening clampdowns on political speech. Who would decide what is and is not considered a threat? And what kind of oversight would there be to ensure that politicians (like, say, Rep. Baker) aren’t overstepping their bounds and simply targeting political opponents? I’m curious if Rep. Baker would charge any of the people responsible for the incidents of unhinged rage Michelle Malkin listed with crimes. It’s the tea partiers who are unhinged and violent, not the peaceful, tolerant left, right?
Legislation like this has nothing to do with keeping members of Congress safer and everything to do with giving power-hungry lawmakers like Rep. Baker more authority over Americans — Constitutional right to free speech be damned.
And while Rep. Baker’s new legislation may be disturbing, his exploitation of this tragedy doesn’t come close to Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s.
Carolyn McCarthy entered politics after her husband was murdered and her son injured in the mass shooting aboard the Long Island Rail Road by Colin Ferguson. Ferguson killed six and injured nineteen. After the tragedy, McCarthy became one of the nation’s leading anti-gun advocates. Naturally, she leapt on the Arizona shooting as an easy excuse to further her anti-gun agenda. She did the same thing after the Virginia Tech Massacre, even though she could not correctly identify exactly what it was she was trying to ban. Now she’s got another chance to push legislation that is squarely against our right to bear arms, protected in the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
One of the fiercest gun-control advocates in Congress, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), pounced on the shooting massacre in Tucson Sunday, promising to introduce legislation as soon as Monday targeting the high-capacity ammunition the gunman used.
McCarthy ran for Congress after her husband was gunned down and her son seriously injured in a shooting in 1993 on a Long Island commuter train.
“My staff is working on looking at the different legislation fixes that we might be able to do and we might be able to introduce as early as tomorrow,” McCarthy told POLITICO in a Sunday afternoon phone interview.
Gun control activists cried it was time to reform weapons laws in the United States, almost immediately after a gunman killed six and injured 14 more, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in Arizona on Saturday.
I don’t doubt that gun control activists like McCarthy have good intentions. Knowing a loved one was a victim of gun violence will undoubtedly make you want to take action. However, the saying “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” exists for a reason, and taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens does nothing but ensure that they are defenseless when confronted by a criminal who undoubtedly will not care about gun control laws.
The idea that guns cause crimes is ludicrous. The only thing that causes crimes are the people that commit them. A well-armed populace is a well-protected populace, and even the FBI found that a rise in gun sales meant a decrease in violent crimes. Consider, for example, that gun sales surged after Obama was elected. In 2009, after the surge in gun sales, violent crime dropped in every category: armed robbery, assault, vehicle theft, and even murder, which dropped an astounding 10%. You can see the exact opposite in countries like Great Britain, where handguns are banned — and violent crimes are the norm. In 2008, they doubled down on their idiocy and sought to ban knives because the rate of stabbing deaths had grown so alarming. It’s absolutely ludicrous, because even if guns and knives didn’t exist, people out to spill the blood of innocent people would still find a way to do so – and probably wouldn’t mind circumventing weapons laws to do so either.
What we can see, however, is that law-abiding citizens who do have guns can prevent crimes by being in a position to defend themselves. Imagine how different mass shooting sprees, too, could end up if even one of the victims had been armed. From the shooting that killed Carolyn McCarthy’s husband, to the Virginia Tech massacre, to the recent recent school board shooting, to this weekend’s shooting in Arizona — one armed citizen could have stopped the crazed gunman in each situation.
Unfortunately, when you have an unarmed populace, you have innocent people who have no recourse other than to cower and pray for mercy from a murderer until police arrive. This isn’t an indictment of police, of course, but it’s good to keep in mind the saying, when seconds count, police are just minutes away. Whatever the situation — someone breaks into your home, tries to steal your car, or starts shooting up the mall while you’re there with your family — being armed and able to defend yourself is an asset, not a liability. Gun control does nothing except make law-abiding citizens sitting ducks before criminals who will still arm themselves and be emboldened knowing that their victims can’t fight back.
Aside from this common sense line of thinking, there’s one other thing that needs to be remembered before Rep. McCarthy is allowed to push anti-gun legislation in the wake of this tragedy. It’s unconstitutional. We have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and people like Carolyn McCarthy are exploiting the Arizona shooting in order to infringe on that constitutional right. If Rep. McCarthy has a problem with our constitutional right to bear arms, then perhaps she shouldn’t be serving as a member of Congress. Maybe she could consider moving to Britain, where they share her distaste for guns. Would she feel safer there, I wonder? If she does not like guns, then she does not have to own one. That doesn’t give her the right, however, to keep others from owning guns.
Judging from the legislation these two lawmakers are pushing, reading the Constitution in the House didn’t mean much — at least not to Reps. Baker and McCarthy. Each are looking to infringe upon our constitutionally protected rights. They should be ashamed of themselves, using the deaths of six Americans to further their own political agendas.