For Pete's Sake

Congressman Peter King can't control lunatics.  So he'll try to control us.

For days now, we've endured much raucous, intemperate, and unbecoming liberal lunacy and slander in the aftermath of the Tucson murders and woundings.  But one of the dopiest proposals so far ‑‑ proving that when it comes to stupidity, Democrats may own the lion's share, plus desert, but no totality ‑‑ is Congressman Peter King's ill-advised and horribly rushed-before-the-TV-cameras proposal to ban all guns within a thousand feet of any event which might be happen to be attended by an unworkably compendious roster of public officials.  Can such a bill be the product of reasoned thought and reflection?

"[Mayor Michael Bloomberg] and I have discussed that we are introducing in the next several weeks legislation which would make it a federal crime to carry a weapon within 1,000 feet of any event which is attended by the President, the Vice President, members of the Senate, members of the House of Representatives, Cabinet officials, including the CIA director as well as federal judges," King announced this morning at City Hall in New York City (abcnews.com, story here).

Moving, soap-bubble zones of transient illegality.  Slippery and untrackable.  It seems much more likely that such bubbles will simply waft over and engulf unwitting citizens who happen to be armed than that armed citizens will, with malice aforethought, actively seek to breach such bubbles.  Mr. King: who in blazes is Hizzoner Bloomberg to be introducing federal legislation?  East-coast, big-city mayors now helping to bully Montanans?  If you tried, you couldn't pick another public figure more subservient than this one to the president and his entire America-last agenda ‑‑ or more beholden to him for what to say and what to think.  Maybe Sheriff Dupnik would like to be another co-sponsor.

Look for such a law, if passed, to require pat-downs, X-ray machines, and new quasi-militarized zones around countless venues where we exercise one of the most hallowed rituals of American polity: the right to free political assembly.  Look for an enormous new deficit-funded apparatus to define, schedule, police, and enforce such zones.  Look for a government website tracking all public events and their attendees.  And for the inevitable online disclaimer that "although the Bureau of Domestic Officeholder-Attended-Event Protection makes every effort to provide up-to-the-minute and complete information about permitted political gatherings, no guarantee can be provided as to its timeliness, accuracy, or reliability.  Ultimate responsibility not to be in possession of a firearm in the presence of public officials rests upon the bearer of the firearm alone." 

Do you want that?

Tacitly acknowledging the impossibility of outlawing the psychoses of criminal minds ‑‑ their criminal acts already by definition being illegal ‑‑ Rep. King wishes to outlaw the presence of legal firearms -- legally procured, legally registered, and already legally (over)regulated -- at any venue which any of the officeholders he mentioned might decide to drop into:

"It is imperative that we do all that we can to give law enforcement the tools they need to ensure the safety of New Yorkers and prevent an attack before it happens," King said during a press conference with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "That is why, as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Illegal Guns, I will be introducing legislation that would make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within a 1,000 feet of certain high-profile government officials. [...]

This week, at least two representatives, Republican Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Democrat Heath Shuler of North Carolina, announced they would start carrying a gun during public events. King's spokesman did not immediately respond when asked if there would be an exemption for members of Congress. (dailycaller.com, story here)

Great -- more carve-outs for lawmakers.  This nonsense is worse than half-baked.  It's totally uncooked.

Pete, illegal guns are already illegal.  You're on the illegal guns committee; stick to that.  It's already illegal to bring an illegal gun anywhere.  We're decriminalizing illegal aliens, and now, your bill would criminalize legal guns.  Fair is foul, and foul is fair.  Forget the minds of lunatics for a minute; what's wrong with this picture, and with our minds?  And Pete, were you absent from school the year they taught Logic 101? 

This is a perfect exemplar of the inversion of clear thought ‑‑ or maybe any thought at all ‑‑ which we see so much of nowadays.  The danger to our collective freedom from the creeping disarmament of the citizenry is incalculable.  And for those who are historically aware, it needs no lengthy explanation.  It is difficult not to see Rep. King's proposed legislation as playing directly into the hands of the would-be suppressors of American freedom, who are already rampant in our society. 

This bill should prove to be a short-lived, flash-in-the-pan, attention-getting ploy meant as campaign fodder for Rep. King, who faces a Democrat-redistricted constituency in 2012.  But if he really means it, the proposal raises serious questions not only about his probity as a nominal Republican, but also about his commitment to American freedom.  For commitment to freedom is at its most laudable not when that commitment is easy, but when it is difficult.

No, Mr. King.  We haven't banned kerosene even though the 9/11 murderers hijacked planes which ran on it.  Or postage stamps, despite their having facilitated delivery of the anthrax-scare letters which came afterward.  Or hoodies, because madman Loughner murdered while wearing one.  And you shouldn't seek, via this kind of legislation, to gut more rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.  One lost, irretrievably demented soul in Tucson -- far gone, beyond fail-safe -- could no longer hear even a whisper of sanity for all the cacophony of devils in his head.  Don't use that outrage to even further strangle and constrict the freedoms of sane American citizens via an hysterical legislative ploy like this.

Richard Kantro may be contacted at rk4at@hotmail.com.
Congressman Peter King can't control lunatics.  So he'll try to control us.

For days now, we've endured much raucous, intemperate, and unbecoming liberal lunacy and slander in the aftermath of the Tucson murders and woundings.  But one of the dopiest proposals so far ‑‑ proving that when it comes to stupidity, Democrats may own the lion's share, plus desert, but no totality ‑‑ is Congressman Peter King's ill-advised and horribly rushed-before-the-TV-cameras proposal to ban all guns within a thousand feet of any event which might be happen to be attended by an unworkably compendious roster of public officials.  Can such a bill be the product of reasoned thought and reflection?

"[Mayor Michael Bloomberg] and I have discussed that we are introducing in the next several weeks legislation which would make it a federal crime to carry a weapon within 1,000 feet of any event which is attended by the President, the Vice President, members of the Senate, members of the House of Representatives, Cabinet officials, including the CIA director as well as federal judges," King announced this morning at City Hall in New York City (abcnews.com, story here).

Moving, soap-bubble zones of transient illegality.  Slippery and untrackable.  It seems much more likely that such bubbles will simply waft over and engulf unwitting citizens who happen to be armed than that armed citizens will, with malice aforethought, actively seek to breach such bubbles.  Mr. King: who in blazes is Hizzoner Bloomberg to be introducing federal legislation?  East-coast, big-city mayors now helping to bully Montanans?  If you tried, you couldn't pick another public figure more subservient than this one to the president and his entire America-last agenda ‑‑ or more beholden to him for what to say and what to think.  Maybe Sheriff Dupnik would like to be another co-sponsor.

Look for such a law, if passed, to require pat-downs, X-ray machines, and new quasi-militarized zones around countless venues where we exercise one of the most hallowed rituals of American polity: the right to free political assembly.  Look for an enormous new deficit-funded apparatus to define, schedule, police, and enforce such zones.  Look for a government website tracking all public events and their attendees.  And for the inevitable online disclaimer that "although the Bureau of Domestic Officeholder-Attended-Event Protection makes every effort to provide up-to-the-minute and complete information about permitted political gatherings, no guarantee can be provided as to its timeliness, accuracy, or reliability.  Ultimate responsibility not to be in possession of a firearm in the presence of public officials rests upon the bearer of the firearm alone." 

Do you want that?

Tacitly acknowledging the impossibility of outlawing the psychoses of criminal minds ‑‑ their criminal acts already by definition being illegal ‑‑ Rep. King wishes to outlaw the presence of legal firearms -- legally procured, legally registered, and already legally (over)regulated -- at any venue which any of the officeholders he mentioned might decide to drop into:

"It is imperative that we do all that we can to give law enforcement the tools they need to ensure the safety of New Yorkers and prevent an attack before it happens," King said during a press conference with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "That is why, as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Illegal Guns, I will be introducing legislation that would make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within a 1,000 feet of certain high-profile government officials. [...]

This week, at least two representatives, Republican Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Democrat Heath Shuler of North Carolina, announced they would start carrying a gun during public events. King's spokesman did not immediately respond when asked if there would be an exemption for members of Congress. (dailycaller.com, story here)

Great -- more carve-outs for lawmakers.  This nonsense is worse than half-baked.  It's totally uncooked.

Pete, illegal guns are already illegal.  You're on the illegal guns committee; stick to that.  It's already illegal to bring an illegal gun anywhere.  We're decriminalizing illegal aliens, and now, your bill would criminalize legal guns.  Fair is foul, and foul is fair.  Forget the minds of lunatics for a minute; what's wrong with this picture, and with our minds?  And Pete, were you absent from school the year they taught Logic 101? 

This is a perfect exemplar of the inversion of clear thought ‑‑ or maybe any thought at all ‑‑ which we see so much of nowadays.  The danger to our collective freedom from the creeping disarmament of the citizenry is incalculable.  And for those who are historically aware, it needs no lengthy explanation.  It is difficult not to see Rep. King's proposed legislation as playing directly into the hands of the would-be suppressors of American freedom, who are already rampant in our society. 

This bill should prove to be a short-lived, flash-in-the-pan, attention-getting ploy meant as campaign fodder for Rep. King, who faces a Democrat-redistricted constituency in 2012.  But if he really means it, the proposal raises serious questions not only about his probity as a nominal Republican, but also about his commitment to American freedom.  For commitment to freedom is at its most laudable not when that commitment is easy, but when it is difficult.

No, Mr. King.  We haven't banned kerosene even though the 9/11 murderers hijacked planes which ran on it.  Or postage stamps, despite their having facilitated delivery of the anthrax-scare letters which came afterward.  Or hoodies, because madman Loughner murdered while wearing one.  And you shouldn't seek, via this kind of legislation, to gut more rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.  One lost, irretrievably demented soul in Tucson -- far gone, beyond fail-safe -- could no longer hear even a whisper of sanity for all the cacophony of devils in his head.  Don't use that outrage to even further strangle and constrict the freedoms of sane American citizens via an hysterical legislative ploy like this.

Richard Kantro may be contacted at rk4at@hotmail.com.