Senator Dick Durbin asked NRA Spokesgoon Wayne LaPierre the following question:
Your NRA members say, “You just don’t get it. It’s not just about hunting. It’s not just about sports. It’s not just about shooting targets. It’s not just about defending ourselves from criminals,” as Ms. Trotter testified. “We need the firepower and the ability to protect ourselves from our government” -- from our government, from the police -- “if they knock on our doors and we need to fight back.”
Wayne LaPierre responded:Do you agree with that point of view?
Senator, I think without any doubt, if you look at why our founding fathers put it there, they had lived under the tyranny of King George and they wanted to make sure that these free people in this new country would never be subjugated again and have to live under tyranny.
In fact, so essential, it was part of the foundation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs until his liberal editors made him remove it.I also think, though, that what people all over the country fear today is being abandoned by their government. If a tornado hits, if a hurricane hits, if a riot occurs that they’re gonna be out there alone. And the only way they’re gonna protect themself (ph) in the cold and the dark, when they’re vulnerable is with a firearm. And I think that indicates how relevant and essential the Second Amendment is in today’s society to fundamental human survival.
Next, enter sweet Lindsey Graham, direct from the set of Gone With the Wind. He told the heartwarming story of a mom and her gun.
Let’s talk about a real-world incident that happened in Loganville, Georgia on January 4th, 2013. My basic premise is that one bullet in the hand of a mentally unstable person or a convicted felon is one too many. Six bullets in the hands of a mother protecting her twin 9-year-olds may not be enough. So, I’ve got a chart here. At the very top is a .38 revolver and on the right is a 9-millimeter pistol that holds 15 rounds.
Does everybody on the panel agree that a convicted felon should not have either one of those guns? Does everybody agree that a mentally unstable person shouldn’t have either one of those pistols? OK, common ground there.
You see, Lindsey knows that almost every Friday the 13th, Jason Vorhees is attacking homes and isn't going to be stopped if you only have a simple six shooter at your side.Put yourself in the shoes of the mother. The guy broke into the home. She ran upstairs. She hid in a closet. She got on the phone to the police. And she was talking to her husband in real time. The intruder broke into the home, had a crowbar, and he found them in the closet. And they were confronted -- confronted face to face. According to media report, her husband said, “shoot, shoot.” She emptied the gun, a six-shot revolver. The guy was hit five of the six times. He was able still to get up and drive away. My question is: Put your family member in that situation. Would I be a reasonable American to want my family to have the 15-round magazine in a semi-automatic weapon to make sure that if there’s two intruders, she doesn’t run out of bullets? Am I an unreasonable person for saying that in that situation, the 15-round magazine makes sense?
But Lindsey isn't done there. No, he moves on to Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson, who was there to talk about better background checks and closing loopholes.
GRAHAM: The point is that we have different perspectives on this. And the reason I’m going to oppose the legislation, Chief Johnston, is because I respect what your do as a law enforcement officer. Has your budget been cut?
J. JOHNSON: Yes.
GRAHAM: Will it be cut in the future?
J. JOHNSON: I am optimistic that it is not.
GRAHAM: Well I hope you’re right, but I can tell people, throughout this land, because of the fiscal state of affairs we have, there will be less police officers, not more, over the next decade. Response times are gonna be less, not more.
Lindsey would have had mothers Mary Lanza and Tanya Thomas testify to the importance of not running out of bullets, but for some reason, they couldn't make the trip.So, Captain Kelly (Mark Kelly, who was testifying about the Arizona shootings that severely injured his wife) I really do want to get guns out of the hands of the wrong people. I honest to God believe that if we arbitrarily say nobody in this country can own a 10-round magazine in the future, the people who own them are the people we’re trying to combat to begin with, and they (sic) could be a situation where a mother runs out of bullets because of something we do here.
You see, in the GOP vision for America, government is neutered to the point where it can do NOTHING for you. You must seize your opportunities without the government, just like founding father Ayn Rand would have wanted. What Lindsey, Wayne LaPierre, and other GOP politicians and supporters were making clear yesterday, was that the whole Grover Norquist idea of a government so small you could drown it in a bathtub is not about the ideals of smaller, more responsible government, but rather a return to the Old West, where lawlessness reigned supreme, and men of honor, like Clint Eastwood, took the law into their own hands. At least, when they weren't talking to chairs.
To read the full transcript of yesterday's hearing, click here.