Thursday, June 16, 2016

Q Toon: The Grim Sower

Today's cartoon uses a very peripheral sidebar to the Orlando massacre to comment on an aspect that isn't at all peripheral. But to begin with, the antiLGBT Lieutenant Governor of Texas tweeted the text of Galatians 6:7 on Sunday morning after the Orlando nightclub massacre. He deleted the tweet later that day, explaining that he didn't mean to say what it seemed to say about the terrorist victims.

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Jun 16, 2016
If the gun-lovers in this country refuse to connect the dots between easy access to weapons of mass murder and mass murder itself, terrorists are more than happy to connect those dots.

I've seen plenty of arguments that the real issue is not assault weapons, and Republicans immediately looked for other ways to frame the issue. Donald Trump wasted no time congratulating himself for having called for quarantining the nation indefinitely (yeah, right: "until we figure out what's going on"). And Ron Johnson, Wisconsin's sorry excuse for a Senior Senator was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN this week:
“The AR-15 that was used in this terror attack, killing 49 people, you wouldn’t describe that as an assault weapon?” Blitzer asked. “You’re differentiating between that and a fully automatic assault weapon? Because that weapon certainly did kill a lot of people.”
“So do bombs,” Johnson replied. “So there are other ways that terrorists can slaughter people. It’s their ideology. Their ideology calls for the slaughter of innocents. That’s the root cause. It’s not law-abiding gun owners that are the problem here, it’s Islamic terrorists.”
Republicans have decided that real problem is that President Obama refuses to utter the words "radical Islamic terrorism." But even if saying "radical Islamic terrorism" somehow had a Rumpelstiltskin effect against those who inspired the slaughter in San Bernardino and Orlando, we'd still have the radical Christian terrorists who inspired the slaughter in Charleston and Oak Creek. And all the radical gun-worshiping terrorists from Littleton to Sandy Hook in order categorical.

There is a meme going around which attempts to counter the NRA argument that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" with a photograph pointing out all the armed "good guys" around President Ronald Reagan just before he was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. It somewhat misses the point in that Hinckley was indeed stopped by some of those good guys — after he had wounded four people, yes, but he did get stopped.

Hinckley was armed with a .22 caliber Röhm RG-14, and only hit Reagan at all because one of his six bullets ricocheted. Had he been able to get his hands on a a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle, or any of the other assault weapons made readily available to "bad guys" since 2004, Ronald Reagan's presidency would have been a historical footnote tucked between those of William Henry Harrison and James Abram Garfield, and there would probably be a monument somewhere in memory of many "good guys," photographers, and by-standers who were in front of the Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981.

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