Today is the 45th anniversary of the shooting death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Given what is going on these days, it’s important to remember it was a shooting death. King was shot with a .30 caliber bullet from a Remington rifle. Assault rifles like people have today were not readily available back in 1968, or this wouldn’t be the 45th anniversary of King’s assassination—it would probably be more like the 50th anniversary.
Yesterday, Connecticut passed what they are calling the nation’s toughest package of gun control legislation—I assume that gun nuts call it a lot of other things. Connecticut is where Newtown happened. It’s also one of the biggest gun manufacturing states in the nation. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere... but that applies not just to Newtown, but to the passage of strong gun control laws.
The New York Times has a good article about the lobbying group “Gun Owners of America.” Basically, it’s an organization for people who don’t think the NRA is crazy enough. The GOA actually opposes penalties for straw purchasers! They’re for the criminals! Evidently the “Gun Owners of America” includes everybody who owns guns that they got during a home burglary. GOA head Larry Pratt said “There would not be straw purchasing if there were no limits on who can carry a gun.” Uh, yes... and there would be no underground child pornography if there was a cable channel devoted to kiddy porn. I guess that’s one way to end gun crime—just don’t make anything involving a gun a crime.
The NRA has successfully frightened Congressional Republicans into opposing a UN treaty to curb the global arms trade. The UN treaty is aimed at preventing genocide, war crimes, and terrorism... or what the NRA refers to as “liberty.” The UN treaty is supported by 154 nations. And opposing the treaty are those bastions of individual liberty—Iran, North Korea, and Syria. The reason those countries oppose the treaty is that it is clearly aimed at curbing the abuses of bloodthirsty lunatics. And naturally, the NRA assumes that includes them. How long before Wayne LaPierre starts trying to get his hands on yellowcake uranium?
Last year Rand Paul wrote that the treaty would lead to “full-scale gun CONFISCATION.” You could tell he meant business because the word CONFISCATION was all in caps. At least Rand Paul knows his target audience—people with the reading and writing practices of a 7th grader. Senator Paul should have also included a sad-face emoticon in his diatribe against the treaty. “The UN wants take our guns. OMG!”
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