Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What is with Arkansawyer politicians?

There MUST be something in the water in Arkansas. At least in the well some prominent Republicans must be drinking from. How else to explain their infatuation with the AR-15 rifle? And shooting people?
Republican State Representative Nate Bell took advantage of the recent fear in Boston neighborhoods, as police hunted down the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, to push his agenda supporting ownership of  high capacity semi-automatic rifles. The AR-15 he mentions has been compared to the M-16 issued by the U.S. Army. Bell thinks we should all have one. Instead of a chicken in every pot, he wants a rifle in every home. A fast shooting rifle. With high capacity magazines, meaning lots of bullets.
Using Twitter (his tweet has since been deleted), he had this to say:
I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?
Nate Bell (@NateBell4AR)
Well, Nate, with all due respect, most people don’t want those kinds of weapons in their homes. People in Boston neighborhoods and nearby towns were fearful enough without worrying about some nervous Nellie neighbor with an itchy trigger finger blowing off fifty rounds of ammo every time he thinks he hears or sees something in his yard. Especially when, given the situation, that sound is probably a law enforcement officer slinking around the corner of his shed as he searches for the surviving suspect. And Bell should be more worried about his own safety as a Republican state legislator in Arkansas. One of his fellow Arkies thinks legislators that don’t toe the Republican line should be shot. That’s right. Shoot them. Shoot ‘em all. Or just shoot one and the others will get the message and fall in line. Yeah. That’ll teach ‘em.
Chris Nogy, whose wife is an Arkansas Republican Party official, took issue with Republican state legislators after some of them supported a measure for Arkansas to expand its Medicaid program. The state wants to use the money the federal government provides for medical coverage for the poor to buy private insurance coverage for them instead of participating in Medicaid. Nogy doesn’t agree with that and he’s not happy that some Republicans voted to allow it. Nogy published his proposal in an Arkansas Republican Party newsletter.
Here’s what Chris Nagy wrote in a piece called “Scathing:”
The 2nd amendment means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them if they got too far out of line and stopped responding as representatives. It seems that we are unable to muster that belief in any of our representatives on a state or federal level, but we have to have something, something costly, something that they will fear that we will use if they step out of line. If we can’t shoot them, we have to at least be firm in our threat to take immediate action against them politically, socially, and civically if they screw up on something this big. Personally, I think a gun is quicker and more merciful, but hey, we can't.”
No, Chris, we can’t. We can’t just shoot people who don’t agree with us. We all have free speech, and legislators are free to vote their conscience even when it may cost them a few votes. And that’s what they worry about, votes. Not their lives. They don’t support or oppose bills thinking about whether not toeing “the party line” will get them shot. And legislators with the courage to vote for what’s best and just rather than what fits an agenda should be celebrated, not violently attacked.
Seriously. I can’t even imagine what goes through these people’s minds. Bell, who deleted his tweet, at least did that, though it will forever be floating through the internet waiting for an opponent to snatch it and use it against him in a political campaign. And at least his tweet, though insensitive and offensive, was not threatening. But Nogy? Nogy put his idea into print where any other nut job (and yes, I’m insinuating Nogy is a nut job) might take his suggestion to heart and the next thing you know we have another Gabby Giffords situation. We don’t need that. We don’t want that!
Some responsible Arkansas Republicans denounced Nogy’s statements and one even suggested he was one of “the crazies.” Nogy then issued this lame “apology,” which didn’t exactly help his case:
And in this age of death threats from nameless, faceless thugs, we need these folks to know that while we most likely won't try to kill them or harm their families, they should be much more certain of our response than fearful of the actions of those who will not identify themselves.
I believe that in a world of nameless, faceless thugs influencing our people every day, it is imperative that we become thugs with names and faces just as scary even if in a different way. If we don't, then we lose."
Well, that should put people at ease. “We most likely won’t try to kill them” but if we do, you’ll know who we are. Wait, what?  
While Nogy’s suggestion is vile it is, at the same time, ridiculous. And for more ridiculousness from Arkansas, there’s this suggestion, based on the Bible and reminiscent of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal:
The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21:
That’s what former Arkansas legislator Charlie Fuqua wrote in his book, God’s Law. He advocates that parents turn their “rebellious children” over to the state and the state can then administer the death penalty. No, you cannot make this shit up. Again, he not only thinks it, he put it in writing.
There are other politicians who make what can only be considered stupid statements, and that includes Democrats as well. But these three take the cake. And the icing. And the ice cream that goes on top.