Political Opportunism - And Response

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Obama administration has adopted their "triggering" definitions of a modern rifle so that they can "remove the weapons of war." In Colonial days, weapons of war were your own personal musket, knife, hatchet and axe. In The War Between The States, Confederate troops were lucky to have a standard uniform much less a rifle. New recruits were told to scavenge other dead soldiers’ armament. Going back a thousand years, weapons of war were family heirlooms passed down from one generation to another (suggesting the origin of the age-old axiom: "Come back with your shield...or on it."). 

America's graduation from trap-door or bolt action rifles to Winchester lever-action repeating rifles was more of a revolution to modern warfare than Colt's introduction of the modern rifle (M-16, AR) design. We already had high-capacity fully automatic rifles so what this boils down to is cosmetics.

The most commonly owned handgun design celebrates it's 102nd Anniversary this year. In the U.S. it was the exclusive sidearm of the U.S. military (all branches) for 60 years. How do you remove this weapon of war? Standard issue 1911s (.45 automatics) come with Cuomo's mandatory 7-round magazine. Yet it has been one of the most effective close-quarters military defensive weapons in modern warfare. By its very definition and design, it is also one of the best self-defense weapons ever invented. And yet it is a weapon of war, unaddressed. Hold onto your wheel guns.

As a humorous sidebar, it's interesting to note that during World War II German officers were issued Browning Hi-Power 9mm automatics, invented by the same John Browning who invented the Colt 45 as an independent contractor to Sam Colt until they had a falling out. The inventor went to Fabrique Nationale in Belgium. The irony: one man inventing exclusive weapons of war for both sides at the same time in the same theater of war. Stunning irony. 

Possibly the only good thing about Obama's recent legislation is a heavier funding for mental health. But it's only lip service. The amount allocated, when spread out over the country, will be minuscule for each state, county, city, school system, you get the idea. Then there will be the historical and natural governmental tendency to centralize expenditures in major population centers. That would seem logical, except  U.S. mass murders involving weapons of war don’t seem to be occurring in metropolitan areas, so this will be wasted money and effort as well.

There is the fear of HIPPA violations with this new legislation; the coercing of doctors into asking each patient what kinds of guns they have at home and then "reporting in." The chance or opportunity for misusing shared privileged information between all agencies of government is a given. This is too much exposure for identity theft, defamation and unwarranted disclosure without permission. 

Obama had to make these executive orders. He couldn't get gun legislation passed in his first term while most of the House and Senate members were card carrying concealed permit holders. When this failed, he directed his State Department lap-dog to go behind congress' back and pony-up for gun reform utilizing the United Nations. Remember, this is the same woman who four years earlier during the primary campaign, said Obama's "uplifting rhetoric is empty.  "Slick Hillary? This had no chance of working either because there was no likelihood 50 states would ratify the measure. Now, Obama's last chance came, serendipitously, a month after Sandy Hook. He will go door-to-door to cram it down our throats, but only because they have, maturely, seen the writin' on the wall and passage will not be easy.

The biggest problem with all of this is history. In viewing populations on a macro-scale, tiny inputs of change will not produce measurable changes in "historical inertia." But shock and panic can stem public opinion much quicker than solemn thought and logic. Obama knows this, and selective-opportunist that he is, is pushing through his own agenda on the coat-tails of a tragedy. Shameful behavior for a grown-up. 

David D. Fihn, Sr.

* * *  

It is good to have a gun expert such as Mr. Fihn educating many of us about some of the impacts of the President's 23 executive orders issued yesterday with little children as his on-stage guests and witnesses.  My immediate initial reaction was that the content of each of the orders must be only a couple of sentences but at least they served to verify that he put in a hard days work. 

While Barak fiddled and Congress fumed, we responsible gun-fearing public checked Betsy to be sure both barrels were cleaned and ready for action if Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Algeria, North Korea, Egypt, Libya or any other of our host of friends around the globe came calling.  Our local police can take care of the bad boys of the night from the neighborhood and environs. 

I expect more from the President of the United States than a staged Hollywood-type production using children as props and framing the Republican party as the enemy.  I hope the Democratic party will rise up to the occasion and take a stand to make it clear that we the people are as one, transparent and unafraid of his bluster.   

The problem that needs to be addressed is not as threatening and disastrous as he wants us to believe.  Coming down off his pedestal long enough to roll up his sleeves and work with appropriate members of Congress could have generated one piece of legislation that could have passed and all of them could move on to other critical matters that have been on the burner too long.  Those matters are smokin' hot and the country is going to suffer if those responsible do not stop bickering and do what we are paying them to do.  It is time to grow up and start governing. 

Charlotte Parton

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