Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hurrah! Normal Politics Resumes

The decline of the Tea Party, as I have been arguing, allows Republicans to resume the normal politics of compromise.

I am very hopeful that the Republican and Democratic leadership will reach a deal to raise taxes on the rich and cut government spending, especially on defense contractor entitlements.

I am also hopeful that the Republican and Democratic leadership will reach a deal on controlling assault weapons and other mass-murder tools.

I am hopeful that Grover Norquist will fade into the sunset, now that Republicans are ready to break their foolish pledge never to raise taxes, no matter how much it hurt the country.

I am less hopeful that the gun lobby will fade away, but at least some conservatives are willing to break with them when little white children get massacred.

8 comments:

Alex said...

I am sorry to say that I never considered the "whiteness" aspect to this CT horror before this post, but I am sure you are right about it making a difference in who is willing to consider changes to our gun laws. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

There have been plenty of conservatives willing to break with the gun lobby before this. Buckley, Kemp, George Will .... I could go on. Admittedly, it's not the most fashioniable postion in the GOP up till now, perhaps. But your party seems to be OK with the massacre of little children provided they're still in utero, so I wouldn't throw stones.

Mac said...

Professor,
At last report, no assault weapons were used in the Connecticut crime. A semi-automatic rifle was used, but that is not an assault weapon. I own and properly secure a number of semi-automatic weapons. I have not committed mass-murder. I first learned to use them, as well as honest-to-goodness assault weapons, in the Marine Corps. I have used them against human beings who were doing their damnedest to kill me. I did so in order that you and the others in the academy could pursue your fuzzy studies free from the threat that regimes who do not favor liberal thought did not get the opportunity to escort you to the wall as their first order of business. (They tend to disfavor freedom of thought, academic freedom, any kind of freedom at all.) Call the young man who murdered his Mother and 26 other innocents anything you want. Mass-murderer fits. But beware damning the innocent in your eagerness to punch your liberal ticket.

M.R. McCarty
LtCol, USMC (ret)

gruntled said...

"Lanza used the rifle, a modified civilian version of the military's M-16 similar to the popular AR-15, as he stalked through the school and opened fire on children as young as five." From the ABC News report.

Bushmaster calls it an Adaptive Combat Rifle.

Sounds like an assault weapon to me.

Mac said...

Ever fired one? I've got one and I wouldn't carry it in combat. It is a nice little rifle for plinking, but nowhere near as stable or accurate as the M-16A1 or A2 and I fired those, in combat and for qualification, for years. It just isn't an assault weapon. "Assault weapon" is a merely tag people use when they want to prohibit any rifle or pistol they don't like.

He could have gotten the same tragic results with a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle that many kids in rural America have been allowed to own and use. In a school in which no one was armed to stop him, he could have gotten the same results with a fire axe, a baseball bat, or a claw hammer.

And here is a sociological question for you--why is it that people always want to ban only those things that they don't want others to own or do. Human nature?

Oh, and ABC News is hardly a reliable source: The current presidential Press Secretary is married to Claire Shipman of ABC and ABC has been carrying the President's water for years.

Anonymous said...

This just in, maniac kills 26 people with claw hammer in...oh wait it was with an assault rifle, but since they have the same effectiveness who can tell the difference? Surprised Lanza didn't just go in there fists blazin'. I'm so sick of trying to go into the nuances of guns vs mental health vs violent entertainment with your ilk because you think 'the result will be the same' no matter the tool. If I want to play baseball, I'll take the bat. If I want to kill as many innocent unarmed people as possible I'm reaching for the assault rifle.

lily said...

Crazy people and criminals do crazy and criminal things.But of course we can't let a crisis go to waste.

Bill said...

Crisises make for poor law making. See the Brady law or the Patriot Act....