Monday, December 22, 2008

Ignorant fraud, indeed...

Would-be RNC chair Michael Steele, on gun control:

What do you need an assault weapon for, if you're going hunting?

Never mind the whole "assault weapon" misnomer here. And we've all discussed, ad nauseum ad infinitum, the hunting utility of semi-auto rifles, which I am guessing is what Steele's talking about when he says "assault rifle." Honestly, one would think such a question would have been answered once and for all at least 16 years ago, when the Korean shopkeepers employed semi-automatic AK-47s to protect themselves from rampaging hordes of looters during the 1992 L.A. riots. One would think an exclamation point on that answer would have been the post-Katrina situation on the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast. And then, if I remember correctly, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo used less than 20 rounds of .223 to do their dirty work in Washington in the fall of '02 — and with the way they did it, they could have pulled it off just as easily with a bolt-action deer rifle, of the type the politicians say they don't have a problem with. I guess it's a testament to the ignorance of a politician that he (or she) would ask such a question in this day and age, but still it's absolutely inexcusable. I'd like to think some education on the issue from various perspectives — from Katrina-type situations and what the Founding Fathers themselves had to say on the individual's right to arms of military utility to the War On Some Drugs and the history of gun control as a tool of racist oppression — would alter Steele's perspective, but then again he should have been more in tune with that anyway, considering he wants to be the chair of the party supposedly seen as the champion of that particular right. I hated to see that, really, as Steele seemed to be a promising start to the end of the days when the GOP was seen as racist, sexist or what-have-you. That particular opinion is bullshit anyway, but someone like Michael Steele in the upper ranks of the GOP would have gone a long way towards illuminating it as such.
(h/t David Codrea)