Rattled apparently by two weeks of disastrous missteps that have turned the gun control debate in Colorado toxic, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s remote control campaign to limit the gun rights of Coloradans is calling in the big guns, with the husband of former Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords, Mark Kelly, testifying for gun control.
Just as Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy has tried unsuccessfully to use her own personal tragedy with gun violence as a cudgel to push her gun grab legislation, Kelly is using the horrific shooting of his wife as a weapon in the gun control debate.
Both situations — the killing of Congresswoman McCarthy’s husband and the near death of Kelly’s wife — are terrible tragedies. What they are not, however, are an excuse to substitute emotion for facts when it comes to making law.
At some point, the merits matter.
In the case of the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords in 2011, as 9News’ Kyle Clark noted on Twitter, the very bill that Mark Kelly is in town to testify for wouldn’t have done a thing to prevent the attack.
Per the Christian Science Monitor, the shooter, Jared Loughner, passed a background check:
A store selling firearms is required to check with NICS before making a sale. In Mr. Loughner’s case, when the 22-year-old went to the Sportsman’s Warehouse outlet in Tucson, Ariz., on Nov. 30 to purchase a Glock 19 semiautomatic handgun, a background check was performed and he came up clear, according to the store manager. That Glock was used in Saturday’s rampage in Tucson that killed six people and injured 13 others, including the critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) of Arizona.
Kelly, to his credit, acknowledged this fact in his testimony this morning, but somehow said this means that we need the bill anyway. There is no better illustration of the emotionally derived logic for bills than saying the bill won’t work as intended, but we should pass it anyway because it feels good.
Why are gun control supporters unable to push their case with logic and hard evidence? Why must they resort to politicizing tragedy and pushing victims forward in place of reasoned argument?
As with Congresswoman McCarthy, we mourn the tragedy that Congresswoman Giffords endured. But let’s face facts: calling for new gun controls that would have done nothing to stop the tragedy that gave Mark Kelly his national platform is worse than disingenuous.
It is the new McCarthyism, and it is wrong.
UPDATE: As if there was any doubt about the Democrats intentional and disgusting exploitation of tragedy, check this out. On the day of the Sandy Hook tragedy, this was tweeted by one of Obama’s main speechwriters.
Former Obama WH speechwriter. –> RT @jonlovett: Politicize the tragedy. Politicize the fuck out of it.
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) December 14, 2012