Sunday, April 17, 2005
Tom Bolton could learn a lesson from DeLay, who is reported to have urged NRA members to be diplomatic with proponents of gun control:
Arms key to free society, DeLay tells conventionAnother featured speaker was Ted Nugent, the guy on the left. On his website, he claims to have "earned the title Motor City Madman". He used to live in Michigan -- not very far from me, actually -- although he moved to Crawford Texas two years ago.
Majority leader urges diplomacy toward advocates of gun control
By RACHEL GRAVES
April 17, 2005, 12:19AM
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
[...] Speaking to a crowd of about 3,000 NRA members, DeLay said guns are imperative for a free society but encouraged gun supporters not to personally attack gun-control advocates.
"Political discourse tends to get so heated that it's not only policies but motives that get questioned," the Sugar Land Republican said.
Just because people want to destroy the Second Amendment, DeLay said, "that doesn't mean our opponents are bad people."
People who grew up around guns "tend to see guns as a normal part of life like fishing or watching football," he said. "Unfortunately too many of our fellow countrymen don't share our touchstone." [...]
I wonder what the Secret Service thought of that.
The Detroit Free Press ("Freep") reports that Mr. Nugent "walked onto the stage with a large assault weapon in each hand". That must have been a sight to behold. The article provides us with the following Nugentisms:
"The whole world sucks but America sucks less," he said to laughter and applause. "And we can eliminate that sucking sound altogether if we all would actually be hardcore, radical extremists, hardcore radical extremists, demanding the right to self defense."Is that what Mr. DeLay means by diplomacy?
"Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em!" he screamed to applause. "To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."
Something odd happened while I was browsing around for this post. When I opened the Freep article on Mr. Motor City Madman, the website server reported an error. Here's the screenshot:
In the interest of author disclosure, I must admit that I am an advocate of gun control. I appreciate Mr. DeLay's diplomatic overture, although I do not appreciate his implication that I am out to destroy the second amendment. I don't even object to people having a gun for self defense. But The Nuge's two assault rifles seem a bit much. Each one holds 30 bullets.
I suppose if sixty carjackers all decide, simultaneously, that they want to take your car, then two assault rifles would be needed.
What is it that bugs me about the reports from the NRA convention? What bugs me is that they illustrate, graphically, that there are some pretty nutty people who advocate for looser restrictions on gun ownership. And they are piss-poor role models for gun ownership. Yes, Ted, that means you. A responsible gun owner has control over his or her emotions. A responsible gun owner does not boast about being called a "madman." A responsible gun owner doesn't swagger onto a stage with two assault rifles. In fact, a responsible gun owner does not swagger anywhere, even if carrying only one gun. A responsible gun owner does not fantasize about being attacked so that he or she can shoot a human being righteously. The correct way to use a weapon is as a deterrent to crime, not as a substitute for the right of due process: a right that is, incidentally, enshrined in the Constitution of the United States of America. That's the same Constitution that gives us the right to bear arms.
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