Ignorance Might Not Be An Excuse....

Jun 20, 2016
Attempts to score political points by anti-gun politicians are beginning to overshadow the real tragedy of the Orlando murders. And even as the anti-gun rhetoric overheats, the firearms industry continues to say...nothing.

It's still the only appropriate response.

Meanwhile the exaggerations, half-truths and outright lies by politicians and organizations seeking to further curtail the rights of law-abiding citizens are lapped up by those who agree, adding to the frustration of those law abiding citizens already infuriated by not-so-subtle insinuation that they are responsible for such tragedies.

Sometimes, however, the politicians are so busy politicking they manage to reveal themselves by their own double standards.

Consider, for example, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan.

She's governor of what is generally considered the most "gun-friendly" of the eastern states. For the residents of the Granite State the motto "Live Free or Die" seems to say it all.

Sig Sauer is headquartered in Newington - and employs 800 of the state's residents.

Recently, she used the knowledge of that company to learn some truths about firearms, or more particularly, suppressors for firearms. Sig manufacturers both.

After the state legislature's recent passage of a bill allowing the use of suppressors for hunting, Governor Hassan indicated her intent to veto the bill.

Apparently, her decision was driven by facts presented to her by NH fish and game officials. Among other things, these "facts" said use of "silencers" would make it far more dangerous in the woods for non hunters, as well as contributing to increases in poaching due to the inability of officers and residents to hear those now-silent gunshots.

Based on those "truths" intended to exercise her veto, forcing the legislature to either override it- or let the measure die.

Instead, Hassan visited Sig's Newington headquarters and learned that suppressors weren't "silencers" any more than mufflers made cars totally quiet.What she learned was that the "facts" she'd been given were wrong.

To her credit, she went back to the governor's office and signed the legislation into law. She could have simply said -and done- nothing and the bill would have become law without her signature.

But Sig also manufacturers the Sig MCX rifle- one of the guns used by Omar Mateen.

And Governor Maggie Hassan is also running for the United States Senate.

It seems "candidate Hassan" suffered an irresistible desire to offer up a comment on the Orlando situation-and that Sig MCX rifle- that's caused quite an uproar for Governor Hassan..

The comment?

"I think it's really critically important that we consider the fact that this murderer got a weapon of mass destruction that caused mass casualties even though he was known to the FBI as a suspected terrorist."

A weapon of mass destruction? Really? Even for a national Democrat it was one of those gross over-statement. For the governor of the state where the manufacturing company resides- and employs hundreds of workers- it was outrageous.

In response, the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper editorialized that Hassan was, "Displaying her penchant for political grandstanding and her ignorance of firearms" in equating the Sig MCX rifle with "mustard gas an nuclear weapons."

Her comment, the paper's editorial board opined, "was both ignorant and insulting" continuing that rather than "focusing on the terrorist, ISIS radicalizing American Muslims from its territory in Iraq and Syria, or the Obama administration's failure to stop attacks in Boston, San Bernadino or Orlando even after being alerted to the perpetrators, Hassan blames the gun."

The Union Leader went on to call her "reckless decision to smear a New Hampshire company on her way to Washington" proof that she was "already in the grip of D.C. Democrats."

No one at Sig's commenting on Hassan's slam at the company- and the 800 people who work there. It's entirely too-soon after such a horrible crime to get into what is, essentially, a political matter.

But it has people there wondering if there aren't two Maggie Hassans.

One, the Senatorial candidate looking to move to "the big stage" in Washington who's taking advantage of a tragedy.

The other?

The Maggie Hassan for local consumption whose website reminds New Hampshire residents that "Washington has lost sight of New Hampshire's priorities. Maggie believes the Granite State deserves a Senator who puts New Hampshire families first."

Sounds good, but it makes you wonder which Hassan would show up for work in the District of Columbia, doesn't it?

And politicians wonder why voters consider them untrustworthy.

--Jim Shepherd