So Obama has given us his bill of particulars for mitigating against the next mass killing spree, and New York governor Andy Cuomo has charged merrily ahead with assault weapons ban for my home state. I’m sure some of the ideas presented between the two of them (and with more certainly to follow from other politicians) will help make a difference, but in the short run they will probably not show results.
That is fine, since the problem of gun violence is a behemoth. It is the trajectory of the gun crimes that needs to change, and it would be foolish to hope to reverse course immediately. The difficulty, of course, is our national Attention Deficit Disorder which could easily thwart even these modest improvements. And, as was pointed out by he president, the spree killings we’ve seen of late are not even the main course of our feast of sorrow. It is the routine shootings and maimings that occur in their dozens every week that ought to be our focus.
What is interesting is the sop that Obama apparently felt compelled to throw to the NRA in order to stymie their “blame the video games” cannard. I have been watching a lot of C-Span’s Washington Journal
call-in program, and the number of yee-haws who have gotten lost in Wayne LaPierre’s smokescreen is staggering. Does anyone doubt that if Wayne had targetted pinball machines during his infamous presser that half the country would now be demanding that Netflix destroy all it’s copies of “Tilt”?
And yet, one cannot fault the NRA for its gift at Â spinning PR gold from bullshit. Here is a clip of Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, just one of many Republicans who have dutifully toed the line:
Diane Franklin, a Missouri legislator, is also playing the “blame the games” game. She has suggested taxing violent video games and putting the proceeds towards mental health treatment. Can you imagine if this twit had the nerve to tax guns
for the same reason?
I thought I would use Diane Franklin as the final, “most outrageous” example of the GOP response to Newtown, but it actually gets worse! Martha Dean, a lawyer and recent (unsuccessful) GOP candidate for Connecticut Attorney General is–you guessed it–a “Newtown Truther”! Yes, there is a conspiracy movement afoot advancing the notion that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was staged!
A video promoting the theory (and which this cuh…cuhhh…cooooonsenting
adult links to from her Facebook)
already has over ten million hits!
Sleep tight, kids!
Now, you would think that all these right wingers nose-diving into their own vomit would leave Â Obama free to let the video game meme eat itself. Instead, as part of his 500-point plan to prevent every fucknut in our galaxy from acquiring their Â own replica of Ol’ Painless, the President seems to have taken the bait and has requested Congress authorize $10,000,000 for a CDC report on guns which will probe the connection between shootings and video games.
The joke may be on the NRA, however, since the real intent of the proposal appears to be to get lawmakers to undo a prohibition, in place since 1996, against the CDC investigating the causes of gun violence, a prohibition lobbied for by the NRA who feared it would lead to anti-gun propaganda.
It seems unlikely that at the end of the day the CDC will report back that the Super Mario Bros. are more responsible for events like Newtown and Aurora than Bushmaster is, but I look forward to watching the NRA reap what it has sewn. In the meantime, video games are poised to do to the GOP what rape did for them only a few months ago.
Update: Sam Harris has some sobering thoughts about the gun issue.