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Gary Horton: Conservative Congress betrays U.S.

Posted: December 26, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 26, 2012 2:00 a.m.

No price is too high to pay to protect our school kids,” says Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association. No price of course, except sensible controls limiting unfettered proliferation of semi-automatic weaponry.

So, LaPierre and his NRA call a press conference dictating terms by which America must suffer further at stubborn, gun-lobby, special interest NRA hands. Acting as though the NRA were some fourth branch of government, LaPierre dictates to America that we must “airportize” our schools, essentially morphing them into amateur-TSA supervised lockdowns. This, he tells us, will make us safe from madmen abusing the innocuous assault weapons his group so vehemently defends.

It is an amazing display of American political befuddlement that we give this man and his gun-industry gangsters serious consideration. To suffer the NRA directing a program to protect America from the guns they promote is like inviting a Mexican drug lord to direct our national drug policy. Thankfully, even voices like radically conservative Rupert Murdoch rejected LaPierre and his NRA, running headlines: “GUN NUT!: NRA LOON IN BIZARRE RANT OVER NEWTOWN.” For clarity, Murdoch hails from Australia, a country that cured its own gun violence disease with comprehensive gun control decades ago. Murdoch may be ultra-conservative, but he also doesn’t much like the idea of crazed newspaper haters chasing him down with too-easy-to-procure AK-47s and 40-round clips.

Of course, the NRA plan is an ineffective ruse meant to distract from the core issue that assault-like weapons are simply too easy for unhinged folks to acquire. The NRA has us responding to a deranged kid by equipping 130,000 schools with gun-toting retired anybodies posted at the front door.

Let’s hope that retired anybody has his gun-at-the-ready when the next crazed Glock wielding kid packing 30-round clips flies through the door firing off like some shooting scene he’s memorized from “The Matrix.” But what if the crazed kid skips the front door with the NRA retired anybody, and instead sprays bullets across the school play yard, unencumbered from outside the fence. Or maybe he shoots up the school bus at the stop light. Or perhaps our abuser of innocent guns skips the school scene altogether and jacks up another movie theater packed with the very kids he passed on at the school with the guard. Or he takes out his rage on the blue light special shoppers over at the Kmart. Or at the Ralphs. Or he blasts through the lobby of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital emergency room.

Or, or, or, and or.

The problem with crazed folks armed with crazy weaponry is you never know where they’re going to light up their crazy firing. That’s because they’re crazy, right? Yes, I believe that’s the point.

The NRA “post guards” thing is as crazy as the shooters themselves. We can airport-ize our schools to make them safe for our guns, weaponize the baggers at the super market, and gun-up the doctors and nurses over at Henry Mayo — with the ultimate and not-so-logical conclusion being that we should all be packing heat to protect us from excessive guns.

What a Merry Little Christmas that thought provides.

But you’ve already been inundated with this sorry gun violence thing. And you’ve been terrorized with fiscal cliffs. So what’s at the core of our inability to sensibly govern straightforward concerns? Guns are now more accessible than health care and half of Congress has pledged to send their already economically ravaged constituents back into painful recession rather than budge one iota off a no-tax pledge they’ve blood-oathed to Grover Norquist.

Let’s be perfectly clear about the madness behind these tragedies: Republican congressmen won’t tolerate sensible gun restrictions because they’re personally afraid of NRA electoral firepower. And they won’t deal on tax policy because they’re cowered by Norquist’s PAC money retaliation. When the smoke of dysfunction clears you see that your so-called representatives in Congress have more fear of lobbyists than loyalty to you.

So, that’s coal in your stockings, but it’s pretty much true. We’ve not really faced up to facts before, but what should you think when your company announces new layoffs and you get your pink slip from a Republican purposefully induced recession? Or God forbid gun slaughter erupts in the SCV? Will we take solace in McKeon’s pledge of allegiance to Grover Norquist? Will we still support the Republican’s refusal to manage assault weapons when blood runs down McBean?

Let’s hope that suffering all this recent senselessness will restore us to our senses. Newtown deeply displays our American dysfunction. We have grieved and will grieve more. But now it’s time to demand Congressional loyalty back to America and Americans — instead of to over-funded lobbies with agendas far removed from that of our own.

Gary Horton is a Valencia resident. “Full Speed to Port!” runs Wednesdays in The Signal.


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