Chris Christie, Asshole of the Day for July 3, 2014
by TeaPartyCat ()
Gun control has been a hot topic the past several years, though be careful if you bring it up— the NRA has strict rules about when you can talk about it. You can’t talk about it too soon after a major shooting, and oh, by the way, there’s always a major shooting. I believe according to NRA rules it’s still too soon to talk about gun control after JFK’s assassination, let alone Newtown or the attempt on Reagan’s life.
And while gun control measures have failed so far, a new avenue to try to limit the carnage at the next mass shooting is to limit the amount of bullets the shooter can fire before reloading. But even that’s too much, and Gov. Chris Christie vetoed such a bill this week:
The Republican governor called the measure “reform in name only,” arguing that "[m]ass violence will not end by changing the number of bullets loaded into a gun," according to the Asbury Park Press. He called on the legislature to instead focus on addressing mental illness.
Sorry, but, no, you’re wrong. If a mass murderer has to reload, that gives the people he’s shooting at a chance to stop him. The more bullets, the more death before reload. Mass violence may not be ended, but it can be reduced, and isn’t that worth it? Not to Chris Christie apparently. He’s got his own body guards now, and he’s hoping this veto will help his chances of having Secret Service protection in 2016.
But it doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say:
Directly related to gun violence, Christie proposes to amend current law to provide that a person who has been involuntarily committed to mental health treatment should have to provide adequate medical evidence to a court to obtain a firearms purchaser identification card or handgun purchase permit.
"Time and again, the headlines surrounding instances of mass violence paint an unmistakable portrait of individuals in crisis falling through the broken safety nets of screening, treatment, and commitment," Christie said. "I recognize that science and medicine cannot be expected to predict all tragedies and prevent all harms. Those limitations, however, cannot justify binding the hands of mental health professionals with outdated procedures, inflexible protocols, and a patchwork approach to clinical oversight that frustrates continuous treatment."
So just to be clear— he doesn’t want to do anything to limit gun purchases through the law. He wants mental health. Sorry, but this is bullshit. Put forward a bill that limits purchase of firearms to those without mental troubles, otherwise you’re just pretending there’s a perfect alternative as an excuse for doing nothing now. It’s just like the infinite Republican alternatives to Obamacare which always seem to be perfect in that they have all the popular features with none of the hard choices that make such a program actually work. As Jonathan Chait explains about GOP health care plans::
Lots of people treat the Republican Party’s inability to unify around an alternative health-care plan, four years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, as some kind of homework assignment they keep procrastinating on. But the problem isn’t that Cantor and Boehner and Ryan would rather lay around on the sofa drinking beer and playing video games than write their health-care plan already.
It’s that there’s no plan out there that is both ideologically acceptable to conservatives and politically defensible. Carping from the sidelines is a great strategy for Republicans because status quo bias is extremely powerful. It lets them highlight the downside of every trade-off without owning any downside of their own. They can vaguely promise to solve any problem with the status quo ante without exposing themselves to the risk any real reform entails. Republicans can exploit the disruption of the transition to Obamacare unencumbered by the reality that their own plans are even more disruptive.
Now, for this method to work, you need to pretend to have a plan of your own somewhere.
So I’m just not buying it that Chris Christie, or Wayne LaPierre, or Republicans generally, really plan to mount some great push to take guns away from those about to start shooting on mental health grounds. It’s been 18 months since Wayne LaPierre stood up after Newtown and blamed mental health, and neither he nor any of his allies has done one thing to try to push for mental health funding or to find real ways to restrict people with problems from getting guns. It’s just a smokescreen they pull out every time someone shoots up a room.
So, no, it’s not grandstanding to push for a law so that only 10 people die next time instead of 15. That matters. But for pretending that it won’t, Chris Christie is the Asshole of the Day.
It is Chris Christie's sixth time as Asshole of the Day. Previous wins were for
Full story: Talking Points Memo and Asbury Park Press