We need to retreat from this culture of violence, not reload again...
Since the shooting of Representative Giffords - Members of Congress
are now worried about their own security - both in DC and their home
districts. In the nation's Capitol - Congress has access to enhanced
security thanks to the Capitol police. Though that's not good enough
for Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert - the guy who's just about
afraid of everything from gays to terror babies. He's proposing
legislation that would allow Members of Congress to carry guns in DC and
get this - even on the House floor. I guess he took Sarah Palin's
speech to heart on Wednesday when she talked about how politicians of
old settled their difference with pistol duels.
Outside Washington - back in their home districts - Members of
Congress must rely on local law enforcement to provide security. A task
that's increasingly difficult as states are bankrupt and are forced
into laying off police officers - mainly thanks to irresponsible tax
cuts and fiscal policy brought to us by Republican state Governors and
right-wing ballot initiatives over the last few decades. In response -
Republican Peter King - is calling to borrow money from China to provide
Members of Congress with personal security when they're outside of
Washington, DC. King is also introducing legislation to ban carrying
firearms within 1,000 feet of himself or any of his 534 colleagues.
It's unclear how average citizens like us can qualify for that
same protective barrier. Fear isn't exclusive to Congress though - it's
also felt among gun owners in the wake of Tucson. Owners of gun shops
across Arizona have seen weapon sales nearly double in the days since
the massacre as people fear tougher gun laws could be coming down the
pike. Reagan and Palin and the rest of the GOP are right - we are an
"exceptional" nation. Of all the advanced nations in the world - we're
the only one that thinks more guns equals more security. And after each
new gun massacre jolts our nation year in and year out - we refuse to
change. We need to retreat from this culture of violence, not reload
Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com
His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights
," "We The People
," "What Would Jefferson Do?
," "Screwed: The Undeclared War
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