Don't know about you, but I've about had it with the demagoguery of the press and politicians- regardless of party- who blame me -and you- for everything wrong in the entire world.
For the past 15 years, I've occasionally used the expression "well-meaning dunderheads" to describe people who were dedicated to ideas based entirely on their feelings and not facts. That's because I realize there are some ideas (love, joy, hope, faith, peace) that are worth believing in. Maybe I'm a dunderhead, but I want those things, too. All year long, not just during the Christmas season.
But the reactions to yesterday's terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California has erased the last bit of hope I held for a peaceful, rational bridging of the divide that separates those who believe in the Second Amendment from those who don't.
The bile poured out on anyone who disagrees with the elimination of guns has convinced me -finally- that for them, the elimination of guns, and gun owners if necessary is the only acceptable outcome for them.
Yesterday, Senate Democrats wasted no time introducing two measures that sought to: 1) resurrect the Manchin-Toomey "universal background check" and, 2) expand the prohibited persons list to anyone unknowingly placed on the government's terrorist watch list.
After Senate Republicans voted down the measures, it was rage, not rhetoric that greeted them. "Those who choose to do the NRA's bidding will be held accountable by their constituents," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), after calling the NRA the "quasi-military wing of the Republican party."
Not bad from a man who's never turned down endorsements or cash- from any gun company -or firearms group (like the NSSF) who've endorsed him in the past. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York called it "unbelievable that the NRA could be so unreasonable" saying the organization was "digging its own grave."
Yesterday afternoon, I did receive an "action alert" telling me Senate Democrats were going to reintroduce "universal background checks" and an expansion of the prohibited persons list for firearms purchases.
But the came from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, not the NRA (note: as of 9 p.m. last night, I still hadn't received anything from the NRA). Odd, actually.
Shortly afterward receiving the NSSF's alery, I spoke with the NSSF's Senior VP and Chief Counsel Larry Keane and asked him about the opposition to the "watch list."
His answer wasn't based on individual gun rights.
Instead, it focused on the fact that adding a person who might be under suspicion for a criminal activity to the prohibited persons list wouldn't keep them from getting firearms illegally, but it would create a de facto "terrorist notification system.
"If someone suspected they were being surveilled -or they were doing something illegal and wanted to know if they'd done something to alert authorities," Keane said, "they could go to a gun store and try to make a legal purchase. If they were denied, well.there's their answer."
Seems very logical to me, but I also thought it unrealistic to believe that yesterday's horror was in response to some slight at a company function.
I've known people to leave parties angry, but none ever went home and geared up in body armor, dropped their child off at grandma's then showed up at work and tried to wipe out everyone possible. Yesterday, however, was the first time I've ever seen the media run from the idea of it being a terrorist attack rather than "workplace violence."
Unfortunately, it's not the first time I've heard our President say more gun control would prevent these kinds of tragedies- or the mainstream media parrot that position.
That's what concerns me most. "Reporting" means sticking to the facts- doing anything other than reporting what's known, rather than what's popular in your cocktail circles isn't reporting, it's either "advocacy" or it's malignant relative "propaganda."
As the investigation continues, it's becoming apparent that Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, were "on a mission" to use the words of the FBI's assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles bureau. Whatever motivated their attack, they were prepared to do more. Police discovered hundreds of rounds of ammo in their rented SUV, along with 12 additional pipe bombs in their apartment and equipment to "construct more IEDs or pipe bombs."
In some cases, shooters turn out to be mentally unstable, and they've simply "snapped."
Other active shooter scenarios are the result of a considered plan with a goal of killing as many as possible before being stopped by - someone. The majority of victims die in seven to ten minutes- generally the average response time of the best police departments in the country.
Arriving heavily armed, armored and intent on committing mayhem isn't workplace violence- it's terrorism.
And I can't accept that supposedly rational people really believe disarming average people will stop horrors like this from happening again. To me, their motivation for wanting everyone disarmed is more frightening than terrorism.