by Benjamin J. Kirby
Someone asked me if I'd be doing a piece on gun control. After the post about my obvious concern for my children in light of the Colorado movie theater massacre, it seemed to be a reasonable question.
My answer was a frustratingly dismissive, "no."
My friend was a little taken aback my my answer. Why? Why not talk about gun control now? If we don't talk about it now, we never will.
Sadly, I think my friend is missing the point. See, I'm partial to talking about issues which are still open, still up for debate. The gun issue has been closed for a long time.
I've read a lot about this most recent tragedy, and the best thing I've seen summing up my feelings on the issue is a cartoon from Tom Tomorrow, who does This Modern World. He did the one linked there after the shooting in Tucson, Arizona, but it is depressingly relevant today. The good guy says:
Look, we have the same conversation after every gun massacre. I'm not going to change your mind and you're not going to change mine. But relax! Your paranoid political fantasies notwithstanding, no one's going to take your guns away.
Barring some seismic realignment in this country, the gun control debate is all but settled -- and your side won. The occasional horrific civilian massacre is just the price the rest of us have to pay. Over and over, apparently.
No one is going to have the debate about gun control. No one's going to have the debate about gun control.
It's a cartoon, but it speaks a hard truth. The debate is over. It's settled, and it is obvious that more killing isn't going to re-ignite the debate.
The very best you can hope for is that you and your kids are safe and, let's face it, lucky when they go to the movie theater. Or church. Or high school. Or college. Or the Army base. Or a party. Or Luby's Cafeteria. Or the Congress on your corner event...
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The Fix is saying Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has finally jumped the shark. Hm, ya' think?
It remains to be seen whether Bachmann has done enough to cause herself any problems in the November election. What she has done is torpedoed any political capital she might have had left over from her brief moment in the spotlight during the GOP presidential nominating contest last year.
It's a legitimate question -- her own race for re-election, and how has it been damaged -- I don't know what her opposition looks like, but I'd guess folks in the Minnesota 6th are getting pretty tired of having the shark-jumpin'-est Member of Congress.
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Speaking of embarrassing politicians, this from TPM is interesting on Texas Governor Rick Perry. Mister Let's Secede! himself.
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Speaking of even more embarrassing politicians, file this one under "things you can never un-see"...
Seriously? Barbed-wire arm tattoos? Huh.
That's State Rep. Peter Nehr, a Republican incumbent in District 65, which is just up the road around Tarpon Springs, and north Pinellas.
Per the Tampa Bay Times blurb linked above, these are evidently Representative Nehr's brag pictures. He got his weight down, beat back diabetes. Admirable things, to be sure.
But my free advice to the Representative is, keep your shirt on. And leave the camera out of the bathroom. It's all looks very Anthony Weiner-esque...
Also, take a memo, America: stop photographing yourself in the bathroom. Not cool. Not. Cool.
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Also from Talking Points Memo, does anyone else think this is interesting?
That link is Florida (the embedding is messing up), and it's looking pretty steady in favor of Obama, don't you think?
I won't dig around for meaning, but after some early criss-crossing, you'd think Team Obama would have to feel pretty good about this.
Everyone is talking about how close this election will be. Well, it will be... until it isn't. In other words, if the President can snag Florida again, like he did in '08, Pennsylvania -- which looks good for Obama right now -- and Ohio, which is another close one, but isn't bad, then you have to think he's well on his way to Term #2.
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Please don't hate me, Stephanie Cutter. You're the best.
It had to be done.
-- More later --