WASHINGTON D.C.—In a bold and historic move, with the winds of public opinion blasting at its sails, Congress took swift action late last week to finally address with some seriousness the nation’s rampant gun problem.
Spurred by the latest school shooting at Northern Arizona University (the 144th according to progun control group Everytown, since 20 first graders were gunned down in their Connecticut classroom in 2012), House representatives on both sides of the aisle stood from their comfortable seats and voted to create a special panel to investigate the National Rifle Association (NRA), and the easy procurement of guns and ammunition.
President Obama—whose proposed overhaul of U.S. gun law was ceremoniously repudiated back in 2013 due to general kowtowing to the gun lobby by elected officials more concerned with their careers than with the public they’re elected to serve— watched the vote from his private residence in the White House.
A close advisor to the president, who wished to remain anonymous, said the commander in chief was “wide-eyed, albeit a little gloaty about his legacy” as the votes were tallied.
“Well, ghatdamb! It’s about time,” the president reportedly exclaimed. “All that worry about a potential executive order at Breitbart was for nothing. My work here is done.”
Reps. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Roy Blunt of Missouri stormed out after casting votes against what their spokespeople are calling “an affront to the Founding Fathers.”
In a stunning turn of events, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California—who was in the bathroom when the vote took place—withdrew his candidacy for the recently vacated Speaker of the House position shortly thereafter. He’d widely been considered a frontrunner for the position. According to insiders, McCarthy is about God, guts and guns, all of which will obviously be over if America changes a single hair on its imperious head.
CityBeat caught up with McCarthy on his way to meet his mistress yesterday. “Freedom isn’t free,” he said tearfully, citing this latest vote among his fellow congress members—and not a rumored affair—as the reason he’s throwing in the potential leadership towel.
“How could I possibly reign over this Congress?” he asked. “With a gun, that’s how. The only thing that beats a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But they’re gonna take my guns away, and just look at what that did to the Aussie way of life!” McCarthy appeared frustrated as he continued.
“I have one word for you: Emasculation,” he said, stumbling over the word’s many syllables.
Following a 1996 massacre that left 35 people dead, Australia enacted the world’s largest buyback program for semi-automatic weapons, a universal background check, licensure and a mandatory waiting period. The country hasn’t had a mass murder since, and citizens still own guns.
By comparison, Americans can easily get a semiautomatic weapon, and waiting periods are largely reserved for pet “adoption” and—in 28 states—for women wishing to obtain an abortion. (South Dakota doesn’t include weekends and holidays.)
The upshot is that, if these women change their minds of their own free will or if they are lied to, frightened, intimidated, bullied, pressured, cajoled or shamed into not having an abortion, their fetuses can become full-fledged human beings with the same right the rest of us have to be gunned down at school or work or in a movie theater or at a mall or a restaurant or a park or even in their very own home.
Of course, wink, this could all change if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to hear a case out of Texas during its coming session. Appeals courts there have upheld recent laws forcing the closure of gun shops in all but four cities. Opponents claim this puts undue burden on would-be gun purchasers in rural communities who are forced to drive sometimes as much as 300-miles round trip, often requiring an overnight stay, just to enjoy their Second Amendment rights. It is unclear what the court might do, but this is one case to watch. It will have implications across every state in the nation.
Meanwhile, the newly formed investigative bipartisan panel is considered by some observers to be the most overt action taken on behalf of gun control. The panel will hold hearings with NRA leadership next year. During the hearing members are expected to ask irrelevant and misleading questions; grandstand with—and get choked up by—stories of their vast experiences with gun violence; completely misunderstand the topic before them; and attempt to belittle and publicly humiliate the organization’s president.
Recommendations to follow these hearings could come as early as next fall, after another 48ish school shootings and countless others will likely have taken place. Such recommendations could include a ban on semiautomatic weapons, a limit on the number of magazines a person is allowed to have, longer waiting periods and background checks. Congress could also consider requiring a cooling off period, professional counseling on the health risks of gun ownership, and a doctor’s note verifying that results of a required anal probe are negative.
The gloves are off now. Voters everywhere, regardless of personal opinion on the issue, should be vigilant while remaining hopeful that our elected officials have nothing but our best interest and well-being at heart.