Tag Archives: Gun Control
My new series on Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories in the Obama Administration
Last weekend Richard Poplawski killed three Pittsburgh policemen with a AK-47. Since his arres a debate has exploded over Poplawski’s motives for deliberately setting up an ambush to gun down the officers. He has been linked to the right-wing, neo-nazi website Stormfront and his writings have ventured in and out of the land of psychotic conspiracy theories. Of note, Poplawski’s current state of paranoia was spurned by his belief that President Obama was actively working to ban all firearms in the United States.
This conspiracy theory has been reververating across the right-wing blogosphere since the campaign. Powerful groups, like the NRA, poured millions of dollars into creating the image of Barack Obama as an enemy of the Second Amendment. The NRA claimed that Obama was going to ban the sale and manufacturing of all firearms, ban the use of firearms for self-defense, ban hunting, and ban all rights to to carry a firearm. The claims of the NRA have been repeated across right-wing blogs, radio shows, and main stream news networks as reality. For example, Glenn Beck has been a platform for this echo chamber…
In this piece an expert, a gun store owner, is interviewed about federal policy, the economy, and the national psyche. The media is allowing buffoons like Beck and gun store owners to act as experts on the state of our nation. Instead of engaging representatives from the Obama Administration and mainstream think tanks in a conversation about the future gun control in our nation the MSM allows falsehoods to pass as pure fact. Glenn Beck may be an unfair example, considering he is a bit unhinged, but there are other instances of the MSM allowing for right-wing, conspiracy viewpoints to be presented on natiional television without being challenged. This is just as harmful as actively promoting these viewpoints.
The fact is – President Obama has staked a careful, moderate stance on gun control (factcheck.org). In fact, this is one area where I actually disagree with President Obama. The furthest he has gone in promoting gun control has been calling for making the assault weapon ban permanenet (an already toothless piece of legislation, banning high-powered ammunition like those that killed the police last weekend, and strengthening registration laws. By mutating these facts the right-wing echo chamber has perpetuated the neurotic beliefs of right-wing crazies. It has driven them to taking up gun control as the ventilation of their conservative frustration since the 2008 election.
Creating lies that are allowed to fester perpetuates the anger and psychotic beliefs of those in the fringe of our nation.
The Senate approved the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act (S. 160) last Thursday, by a 61-37 vote. If the bill becomes law, it will grant the District of Columbia one voting representative in the House of Representatives and one additional representative to Utah.Â The bill is a political compromise that balances the heavily-Democratic District’s seat and with one for Republican-leaning Utah. Currently, the District of Columbia – the so-called “capital of the free world” – is denied representation in Congress.
Unfortunately, an amendment proposed by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) to weaken the District’s gun control laws was added to the legislation on the Senate floor.Â The amendment would legalize semi-automatic weapons and high-powered assault rifles in the city.Â It would overturn the District’s current gun control laws, which were enacted by the city’s democratically-elected legislature and enjoy widespread support in the city.Â Supporters of the amendment argue that citizens need guns to defend themselves in their homes.Â Semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, however, are certainly not necessary for self-protection and legalizing them will only undercut law enforcement efforts in the District and potentially endanger the city’s residents, as well as its brave and dedicated police officers.
Thursday’s Senate vote was a significant step towards granting American citizens living in the District of Columbia the same democratic rights as citizens living elsewhere in the country.Â The House will likely take up consideration of its version of the bill sometime this week.Â It will probably pass the bill without the gun amendment, leaving open the possibility that the gun amendment could be dropped in conference committee.Â President Obama is expected to sign the legislation.