And The Winner For The Dumbest Comment Made (So Far) About Guns Is Rick Santorum.

It’s time for me to issue a challenge to all my GVP friends: Which politician has said the dumbest thing about gun violence?  I don’t want to wait until next November because, frankly, some of these guys say things that are so dumb that if we waited another ten months to announce the results, the list would stretch from here to the moon.  Or at least from here to Fairfax, VA, if you know what I mean.  So what I’m going to do is post a dumbness comment whenever a particularly stupid thing comes out of one of the mouths of the clowns who actually believe they should be elected to lead the Free World, or whatever we are calling ourselves these days.  And the dumbest remark I can come up with right now popped out of the mouth yesterday of Rick Santorum, who is evidently still running for President, at least this is what he claimed he was doing in an interview on MSNBC.

When Santorum ran against Romney for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012, most of his campaign rallies were held at Evangelical churches and other conservative Christian conclaves because he spent his entire Senate career talking about nothing except ‘family values,’ which basically meant being the loudest anti-abortion voice in the U.S. Senate and really nothing else.  Since Trump has been married three times, I guess that Santorum figures the Evangelical, or at least the white Evangelical vote is up for grabs, so why not pitch the family values message again and, in the process, make sure to remind everyone that you are pro-gun?

santorum              Actually, I think the MSNBC co-host, Mika Brzezinski kind of got it wrong when she started off by telling Santorum that she thought he was a ‘smart guy,’ although maybe she was just being polite.  Anyway, she then asked Santorum, who had challenged American Muslims to confront extremism within their own community, how come he wasn’t challenging white men to come forward since it was white men who were ‘wreaking havoc’ with mass killings virtually all the time?

And here came Santorum’s response which I am nominating as the dumbest statement on guns that I have heard this year.  It all gets back to family values, according to Rick, and the fact that most of the crimes involving guns are caused by people who come from broken families headed by single Moms.  I’m paraphrasing slightly, but the bottom line is that what Santorum refers to as the ‘inanimate object,” a.k.a. the gun, has nothing to do with gun violence. It’s all about those kids from broken homes who don’t get proper guidance, a problem that Santorum claims he has been working on for ‘many years.’

Now let’s be honest, Rick.  When you were in the Senate, you didn’t get an A+ from the NRA for the way you voted on gun control because you had any interest at all in curbing deaths and injuries caused by guns.  In fact, according to you, none of the 100,000 gun deaths and injuries had anything to do with guns, it was and is because of the breakdown of the family, something that can only be reversed if we all pledge to adhere to your nostrum of ‘family values,’ whatever that means or doesn’t mean.

What really makes Santorum’s answer so embarrassingly dumb is not the fact that he didn’t answer the question.  It’s the fact that he didn’t answer the question by shifting the discussion to where he feels most comfortable, namely, reminding us that every social problem can be solved if we just had Ozzie and Harriet sitting in every American home.  Santorum continues to pretend that the definition of a ‘family’ can only be based on a concocted fantasy that certainly doesn’t exist today and probably never really existed at all. The truth is that gun violence comes in many different forms and grows out of many different social circumstances but it always starts with a gun.

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Which Republican Will Win The Concealed-Carry Vote?

I haven’t yet had time to listen to the speeches delivered at the just-concluded NRA meeting in Indianapolis, but within the next few days they will probably be posted by the NRA.  I won’t bother to listen to Palin and Oliver North because they are just show up for a speaker’s fee, but I will pay attention to Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum, because this trio are prominently mentioned as potential Republican standard-bearers in 2016.  I did find a report on Rick Santorum’s speech on a CNN blog, which quoted him as saying that he was in complete agreement with the NRA as regards using guns to protect all of us from crime.  In fact, Santorum came up with a catchy little phrase which I suspect he’ll trot out a few more times before the election really begins to take shape.  At the NRA show and again on a Sunday television interview he said, “a well-armed family is a safe family, a well-armed America is a safer America.”

Wayne LaPierre

Wayne LaPierre

And if you want to know who all these well-armed Americans are protecting us from, a complete list was furnished the NRA audience by America’s chief crime-fighter, Wayne LaPierre, who painted this portrait of a society on the edge of chaos and collapse because the following people are running around: “terrorists, home invaders, drug cartels, car jackers, ‘knock-out’ gamers, rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse as a society that sustains us all.”

I can’t think of a more effective way to stop chemical attacks or the spread of the plague than a loaded .38 on my night-table or an assault rifle propped up behind the front door.  Okay, so Wayne-o is given to a bit of hyperbole when he gets up in front of the faithful, and he knows he won’t get air-time unless he says something that’s just a little bit beyond belief.  The only problem is that the NRA is staking out such an extreme position that to wind up as the most pro-gun candidate in a field of pro-gun candidates is to push yourself so far to the edge that there’s no way to go but down.

At one point LaPierre rhetorically asked the audience whether they would trust the government to protect them and of course the answer was a resounding ‘no.’  But while the NRA only ramps up its anti-government rhetoric when the government happens to be controlled by the Democrats, the notion that we all have to walk around with guns because, as LaPierre says, “we’re on our own” in facing this terrible, crime-ridden world, cuts both ways.  The truth is that if you get elected President, the first thing you have to do before moving into the White House is to take an oath in which you promise to defend America against its enemies.  What’s Santorum going to do if he’s standing there with his hand on the Bible? Ask Wayne LaPierre to serve as Secretary of Defense?

The NRA’s been able to grow its membership and flex its political muscle for one reason and one reason only: there’s a very liberal, very progressive politician sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who doesn’t buy the argument that walking around with a concealed weapon makes you safe.  Even if the NRA could produce a legitimate study that showed this to be the case, which they haven’t, by the way, it probably wouldn’t change Obama’s mind anyway.  But Obama’s out of here in slightly more than 28 months, and we could wind up with a President who really does believe that the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center could have been shot out of the sky if someone in one of the twin towers had been armed with a gun.  Which will make it rather difficult for the NRA to pretend that we need to arm and protect ourselves because the government isn’t up to the job.