Left, Right False Equivalence: Newtown vs. Boston

A false equivalence narrative has crept into the conversation after the Boston Marathon bombing. It goes something like this: The Left reacted to the mass-shooting in Newtown, Connecticut by saying “we have to do something,” and the Right reacted to the bombing at the Boston Marathon by saying exactly the same thing. On Newtown, liberals want a ban on assault weapons and expanded background checks. On Boston, conservatives want the surviving suspect classified an enemy combatant, suspending his rights as an American citizen, among other similar police state responses.

• • •

Poll: Majority Of Pennsylvania Voters Are ‘Angry’ Or ‘Dissatisfied’ Over Background Check Vote

A Quinnipiac University poll finds a large majority of Pennsylvania voters supported the Manchin-Toomey background check bill that was “defeated” in the Senate last week. Sixty-nine percent of PA voters said they “strongly support” expanded background checks. The background check bill did not make it to the artificial 60-vote threshold needed to pass. In the Senate, barring political nonsense, it only requires a simply majority to pass a bill. But those days are long gone. The failure of expanded background checks to pass the Senate has 34 percent of PA voters “angry,” and 36 percent “dissatisfied.”

• • •

Boston Marathon Bombing: Terror And Fear In America

Fear - photo by dryheadWith some reflection on the tragedy a week ago at the Boston Marathon, it’s clear America is still deeply scarred by the events of 9/11 over a decade ago. Why is it so clearly obvious to so many Americans that we should label last week’s bombing as a terrorist act, but not the Newtown school shooting? What is our definition of terrorism? Was Newtown not sufficiently terrifying? On the contrary, while many more people were wounded from last week’s bombing, last December’s school shooting saw many more fatalities. On that measure, we should consider the Newtown shooting to be at least on the same level as the Boston Marathon bombing, yet we do not, at least not from a perspective of public safety.

• • •

Has Society Moved Beyond The Second Amendment?

On Friday’s Real Time on HBO, Bill Maher quoted conservative columnist George Will from an article he wrote in 1991 titled, “How Embarrassing: The Constitution Protects the Guns that Kill.” Yes folks, this is actually a George Will article. “The Bill of Rights should be modified only with extreme reluctance, but America has an extreme crisis of gunfire,” wrote Will. “And impatience to deal with it can cause less than scrupulous readings of the Constitution.” Because anyone who thinks the language of the Second Amendment guarantees their right to own an assault weapon is hiding behind that Amendment, not comprehending it. “Whatever right the Second Amendment protects is not as important as it was 200 years ago, when the requirements of self-defense and food-gathering made gun ownership almost universal,” said Will.

• • •

John Oliver Exposes Australia’s Gun Control ‘Failure’

In 1996 Australia suffered it’s worst mass shooting event with 35 innocent people killed. Newly elected conservative Prime Minister John Howard faced a choice, he could enact strong gun control laws that might also penalize law-abiding gun owners, or do nothing. He chose the former, and with 17 years of data, the evidence is pretty clear. In the 18 years preceding the 1996 massacre, Australia saw 13 mass shootings. There have been none since tough new gun control measures passed.

• • •

Senator Johanns Says You ‘Literally’ Shoot People In Video Games

Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) - photo by USDAgovThis week Republican Senator Mike Johanns (NE) said, “I find it so incredibly ironic…” Wait! Wait! I gotta stop you there Senator. “Ironic”? I’m not sure what’s the word you wanted to use. But OK, go on… “That its [background check legislation] proponents think these weapons are a problem in the hands of law-abiding citizens,” said Johanns. “But apparently see no problem with the same weapons being glorified in Hollywood movies and video games.”

• • •