Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Will Ron Johnson's “Victims of Government” campaign feature victims of his governing?

By now, you've no doubt heard that the background check bill was defeated, and – unsurprisingly – almost exclusively along party lines, with the self proclaimed “party of life” coming down on the side of easy access to arms for criminals. Now that might seem like an anomaly, when one considers that background checks are designed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people in order to save lives; and that closing loopholes that allow people to buy guns at shows and online without background checks, thereby skirting the background check provisions, would be a generally useful thing to do, and altogether in line with the “party of life” mission. But if you think that, you've obviously been asleep for the last, I don't know, decade at least. At any rate, in this country, the “party of life” wants to arm criminals (you know, harmless ones, folks who have done minor things like trafficking drugs, bombing, and owning child pornography), jokes about arming fetuses (for self defense, dontcha know), doesn't both tempering its' abortion opposition with trifling matters like the life of the mother (because, screw her; she should have thought about that before having sex. Or getting raped, because that's not a valid exception either [see: GOP party platform, 2012; 2008; 2004]. And maybe it doesn't even lead to pregnancy [see: Todd Akin])...and, oh yeah, now doesn't think that we should bother keeping guns out of the hands of people who legally shouldn't be able to get them.

Now, as a Wisconsinite who has the honor to be represented (cough, cough) by Senator Ron Johnson, I can't say that I was surprised to learn that he, too, opposed a common sense effort to make it harder for bad guys to get guns while re-affirming protections against the dreaded specter of a gun registry, thereby protecting the rights of good guys. But the interesting part of all this, to me at least, is that this is Senator Ron Johnson, the Senator Ron Johnson of the “Victims of Government” project. In case you haven't heard about that, the "Victims of Government" campaign is the brainchild of Senator Johnson (cut him some slack; he obviously goes by the rule that activity is a a good substitute for productivity), and is designed, more or less, to show how horrible, evil, no good, and very bad government (except, presumably, his part in it) is. One of the entries on his site explains, “The root cause of our economic and fiscal problems is the size, the scope, and the cost of government - all the rules, all the regulations, and all the government intrusion into our lives.” Describing the project, he states, “far too often American -- government's actually abusive”. A most apropos sentiment, I think, when discussing a significant contingent of our legislative body (Sen. Johnson included) who prefer partisanship to keeping guns out of the hands of people who legally should not own them.

So my question to Senator Johnson is, will you feature victims of gun violence, people whose lives might have been very different if criminals were not able to purchase guns without restriction or screening on the internet and at gun shows and then use those weapons to murder or otherwise harm their victims, on your site? Will people who die as a result of votes like yours, that allow violent criminals easy access to deadly weapons, ever end up on your "Victims of Government" page as a reminder of the “abusive” nature of politicians who forget their basic mission, to serve the people (and not the special interests)?

Of course, we both know the answer to that. “Victims of government” only matter if they can be exploited to serve your interests. But if they're actually dying because of government policy that you support? Eh...

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