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The Meow Heard ‘Round the Legislature

by on February 22, 2013

guns3If you’re one of those rare Utahns who doesn’t hang out with died-in-the-wool gun nuts*, you’re probably not familiar with their strange and beautiful speech patterns, developed through years of living in an echo chamber with other paranoiacs.

It was at full volume Friday at the Utah Legislature’s Judiciary Committee meeting where HB114, “Preservation of the Second Amendment,” was being bloviated.

The speechifying of the gun fringe, all of whom consider themselves constitutional scholars, seems to be an attempt to ape the meter, metaphors and passion of 18th Century colonial propaganda.

patrickhenryAs one citizen told the committee:

“I implore you to see the greatest threats stem not from your neighbors or the lone gunman–but from the malicious intents permeating from corrupt government! The product of gun control is summed up in history and the equation is mass death and the dark legacy of tyranny! The opposition to tyranny of words and ideals alone is fierce, but it is a cat’s meow to the lion’s roar if backed by rifles and bullets and free people united with the discipline to wield such weapons!”

Wow. It’s like being in a bar with Patrick Henry in mid-bender. The best Henry could come up with was stuff like this: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

The word of the day Friday was “democide.” (Use it three times in a sentence this weekend.) It refers to a government killing its own people by the millions, like Stalin, Mao and, if you believe fringe gun nuts, Barack Obama in the near future.

Lacking such vocabulary, the opposition to HB114 was rather tame. Steve Gunn, who despite his name is against gun violence, pointed out that the state’s own lawyers have made it abundantly clear that HB114 — which would make Utah gun laws supreme over federal law—would be laughed out of court.

Other’s in opposition to HB114, boringly pointed out that the state could find better things to spend tax money on—like “social services”— than losing it in federal court along with what little dignity the state still retains.

The committee prudently decided to adjourn without taking any action immediately after public comment.

You can hear the debate here.

*Note: I own and shoot guns.

From → On The SLCene

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