2013’s deluge of gun control part I: wherein our esteemed legislators struggle to understand the topic they’ve spent years legislating

so, okay, it’s probably inevitable that i would get around to making a update based around the concept of gun control. on the one hand, house of hate tends to be “flagrantly pro-gun” (hence all those “new gun” posts that are currently being delayed by the state of transferring regulated firearms in my grand home state), so we should probably have gotten around to this before now; on the other hand, the Irishman tells me all the time to not focus so heavily on this stuff since it’s going to give me a heart attack. i don’t think he’s joking; if there was a way for me to place a wager on my cause of death being “heart attack induced by YET ANOTHER outrageous anti-gun ad or statement,” i would do so. you’d think there would be someplace in Vegas that would help me out on this front, but no, nothing yet.

anyway, there isn’t really a lot for me to say from a substantive point: “assault weapon” bans are mindless feel-good pieces of legislation that will not reduce gun crime in the slightest; regulating magazine size is bogus if for no other reason than we’ve acknowledged why police should have larger magazines; and “universal background checks” and “anti-trafficking bills” do a lot more than what’s stated in their titles alone, and we should talk about that. whatever, we’ve covered this. and in my lovely state, we’re getting slammed with upcoming “assault weapon” bans/magazine restrictions/handgun licensing whether we like it or not. it won’t do a damn thing, but again, whatever, it FEELS GOOD to DO SOMETHING. never mind seriously addressing mental health care and/or the drug war, right, progressives? right, guns are an easier thing to attack.

but, hey, why so serious? so let’s focus on some of the behavior that has typified recent rhetoric:

US Representative Diana DeGette
this condescending pose simply ads to the delicious irony of Diana DeGette apparently having no idea what the fuck she’s talking about

Rep. Diana DeGette draws criticism for “pretty stupid” ammo-magazine comment

one of the things that drives pro-gun people crazy is when people who are actively anti-gun seem to demonstrate little to no knowledge of the guns they attack. this is how we get federal legislation that bans fictional Glock 7s from Die Hard 2; this is how we get politicians like Carolyn McCarthy wanting to ban firearms that have, among other “assault features,” barrel shrouds … and then, when asked what a barrel shroud is, saying, “I actually don’t know. I think it’s the shoulder thing that goes up.” because whatever your political stance, you want to believe that the politicians who are making legislation and claiming to be well-versed on the issue actually know SOMETHING about the issue.

which brings us to Diana DeGette.

“Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette drew national criticism Wednesday for remarks made at a public forum in which she said banning high-capacity in ammunition magazines would be effective in reducing gun violence because “the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.” For years in Congress, DeGette has been the prime sponsor on a federal ban on high-capacity magazines.”

and there we go: the sad, sad combination of a phenomenally stupid statement that makes it clear she has no idea what high-capacity magazines are and a reminder that this woman has supposedly been studying and legislating on this issue for YEARS. so she’s looked into banning high-capacity magazines for years, and yet she cannot actually describe what they are and how they work correctly? disgusting.

“But despite the congresswoman’s claim, ammunition magazines can be reloaded with more bullets and can be reused hundreds of times.”

okay, not wild about the phrasing, but yeah, they can be reused. what was that she said, again?

“”These are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those now, they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high-capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available,” she said at Tuesday’s forum, hosted by The Denver Post’s editorial board.”

wow. but okay, it’s always possible someone misspoke, right? granted, given how far she goes with this nonsense, it’s obvious she’s actually an idiot who doesn’t know anything about THE ISSUE SHE HAS WORKED ON FOR YEARS, but let’s pretend what she meant was, “if you cut off the supply of new high-capacity magazines, the existing ones will EVENTUALLY wear out and disappear.” i personally think this is a dumb theory for a handful of reasons, but let’s indulge here and pretend that is what she meant. so, how should you handle this?

…well, what you should NOT do is double-down and release a smug statement that’s once AGAIN proof you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about:

“DeGette spokeswoman Juliet Johnson on Wednesday said the senior congresswoman from Denver “misspoke” and then issued another erroneous statement about guns. “The congresswoman has been working on a high-capacity assault magazine ban for years and has been deeply involved in the issue; she simply misspoke in referring to ‘magazines’ when she should have referred to ‘clips,’ which cannot be reused because they don’t have a feeding mechanism,” Johnson said.”

which is funny because Johnson makes a big effort to talk about how deeply involved DeGette has been –presumably with the air that one should not question DeGette’s statement, for she KNOWS ABOUT THIS STUFF– and then just digs the hole deeper with another stupid statement, which leads me to believe that:

01. DeGette didn’t misspeak (again, was always clear, but what the hell, have more proof);
02. Johnson herself knows nothing about the topic either, which might be okay in the sense that she’s a spokesperson, but still, you’d think someone in this office that’s been TRYING TO BAN THESE MAGAZINES FOR YEARS would look into learning about the topic in a way that would allow people to speak about it without sounding like blithering idiots;
03. this kind of shit really IS going to give me a heart attack. why?

“Actually, clips in most guns can be reused as well.”

EXACTLY. look, i understand that there’s a point where someone who’s really into guns (say, me) would take issue with a relative novice’s lack of information. but the thing is, i wouldn’t break a novice’s balls about this… but i WILL break the balls of a woman who thinks the federal government should ban me from having something she CANNOT EVEN DESCRIBE.

“Immediately after DeGette’s Tuesday remark, the audience in The Post building chuckled and Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, who was also on the panel, urged people who have not shot a gun to “get to the facts. … Let’s be educated as we make this decision.””

exactly. and further:

“The Colorado GOP called DeGette’s statements “extremely alarming” because, the group said, she is running a piece of federal legislation that she apparently doesn’t know anything about.”

EXACTLY. so Johnson AGAIN compounds this:

“Johnson called the attacks “just another example of opponents of common-sense gun-violence prevention trying to manipulate the facts to distract from the critical issue of keeping our children safe and keeping killing machines out of the hands of disturbed individuals. It’s more political gamesmanship that stands in the way of responsible solutions.””

how droll. look, people misspeak. that’s why you say, “whoops, so and so MADE A MISTAKE” and own up to it. this is what actual adults do. because adults realize that when you call a gun a “killing machine” (which is fucking childish, but whatever), if you’re providing evidence elsewhere that you have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about, then they might realize they shouldn’t trust you when you talk about that gun. or about anything else, and all because a congresswoman (and her spokesperson) are both too stupid to actually know a topic they purport to know well AND too fucking smug to just admit their error.

and fundamentally, this kind of behavior seems to inform EVERY similar issue.

Vice President Joe Biden
“Joe Biden” is an ancient Indian word meaning “holy shit, who thought letting this guy talk was a good idea”

Carolyn McCarthy can’t describe barrel shrouds and says “traditional rifles” are better for women’s self-defense than AR-15s, despite the fact the latter is based on nothing more than her desire to bash AR-15s? another politician who presumably has studied the issue and yet cannot fathom admitting either her errors or even facts that disagree with her. Andrew Cuomo acknowledges that he didn’t really know what was in the anti-gun legislation that he signed and touted as great before the backlash hit? yet another politician who cannot admit the errors in his prior statements. and Joe Biden’s numerous … statements are probably recognized as a hot mess by EVERYONE without any need for elaborating further on them.

look, this kind of bullshit isn’t specific to guns and it isn’t specific to Democrats, and we should be clear about that. but you know how people get riled up when some yokel Republican talks about “legitimate rape” and we get to the part of the debate where someone points out a logical error in a man who cannot even accurate talk about what he’s trying to regulate making laws that regulate it? yeah…

anyway, that’ll do for now. we’ll see if i have any energy left for this next week.

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