In 1995, President George H.W. Bush gave up his lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association via an angry open letter in which he expressed his outrage over a fundraising pitch made by current NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre that described federal agents as “jack-booted government thugs” wearing “Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms.” Though President Bush said he was “deeply” offended and asked the organization to “remove my name from your membership list,” seventeen years later, the NRA is still promoting his past association with the group in its online gift shop.
“What a wonder is a gun!
What a versatile invention!
First of all, when you’ve a gun—
Everybody pays attention.”
—Stephen Sondheim, Assassins
Last year I had the opportunity to review Candice Millard’s excellent history of the Garfield assassination, Destiny of the Republic. President Garfield’s killer, Charles J. Guiteau, has generally been characterized as “a disgruntled office-seeker,” but as Millard makes clear, he was barking mad. His own family was terrified of him and had been for years, but it proved impossible to find him any effective mental health care.
Finding a cheap handgun in the nation’s capital, on the other hand, proved very easy. One murdered president later, attention was paid.
That was 131 years ago. Little has changed. Getting effective, affordable mental health care is nearly as difficult for many Americans as it was in Garfield’s time, while guns are more ubiquitous and deadly than ever.
Friday was a day of horror, Saturday a day of shock and Sunday a day of mourning. President Barack Obama hewed to that script when he showed up in Newtown and gave a stem-winder about God and our duty to our children without uttering the word ‘gun’ or stating exactly how he plans to lead Read More
Mayor Bloomberg has it exactly right. Those federal officials who refuse to crack down on the plague of illegal guns in New York City and elsewhere should get calls from the victims of gun violence at all hours of the night. The mayor and his colleagues elsewhere are all too familiar with late-night calls placed to the loved ones of police officers wounded or killed by sociopaths armed with assault weapons and other weapons of mass carnage.
ROUND 'EM UP
- The Tim Gunn/Taylor Momsen feud is a modern-day allegory of all that is useful and benevolent in the universe vs. all that is vapid and destructive.
- This is visual. Just look at it and appreciate the fact that it lends new meaning to “tea party.”
- As if Charlie Sheen’s Read More
Citing the "impressive success" of his own administration's anti-social-promotion policies in city schools, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that the city would expand the program by ending automatic advancement in the fourth and sixth grades.
Bloomberg spoke at the Patrick Henry Preparatory School on East 103 street in front of children's books, his schools chancellor, Read More
Hours after a gun-toting student was arrested at St. John's University, Manhattan resident Vera Reale and about a hundred others attended the annual dinner for the NRA's New York City chapter. In this clip, Reale, an auxiliary police officer, said she grew up with guns in her house, thinks Michael Bloomberg is a Read More
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
—Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
And look at what just climbed out of its coffin—the Second Amendment, the orphan child of the Bill of Rights. Read More
Backlash to Mayor Bloomberg’s national war on ilegal gun dealers has surfaced in Georgia, where Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr filed a lawsuit against the mayor today arguing that his crackdown was “careless, willful and clearly illegal.”
Supporters of Mr. Barr’s have suggested the lawsuoit it is about the second amendment, Bloomberg has long Read More
A lot of idle media speculation had the National Rifle Association secretly nixing Bloomberg-girlfriend Diana Taylor’s FDIC nomination.
Over at Urban Elephants, NRA head Wayne LaPierre, speaking at a Young Republicans gala dinner over the weekend, was asked directly about this, and answered.
Follow the link for Mr. LaPierre’s speculation on how it happened. Read More