It’s almost a waste of time to mourn the dead movie-goers in Louisiana, because soon enough another Second Amendment nutcase will come along to impose his Freedom on another random set of innocents. So before we inevitably move on, I’ll use this ephemeral moment to focus on Bobby Jindal.
The Louisiana governor and Republican presidential nonentity is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA – the gun lobby has rated him A+ – so of course there’s no way he would’ve ever responded to the shootings with even a scintilla of enlightenment. Even so, he has been haplessly pathetic.
I’m not implying that Jindal is personally responsible for the deaths of those two women and the wounding of nine others. He didn’t place a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun in John Russell Houser’s hands. Indeed, our latest lone-wolf right-wing misfit bought his gun – legally – at a pawn shop in neighboring Alabama, apparently because there was no paperwork in the background-check pipeline about his involuntary hospitalization for mental instability; or about his criminal sheet, which included allegations of arson.
But when Jindal said, after Thursday night’s body count was tallied, that “we never imagined it would happen in Louisiana,” he sounded like a fool. Because only a fool is capable of such willful denial.
JIndal never imagined it would happen in Louisiana? What happened in that movie theater is just a more extreme version of what happens constantly in Louisiana. Because according to the national crime stats, Louisiana has the second highest rate of gun deaths in America – more than twice the national average. (That’s for 2013, the latest year available; in 2012, Louisiana ranked number one.) And take a guess which Louisiana governor has done everything possible to loosen state gun laws, expand access to firearms, and make it possible for gun-toters to fully flex their Freedom.
As the NRA bragged during Jindal’s 2011 reelection campaign, “When it comes to the Second Amendment, no governor in the last four years has done more to protect our freedoms than Bobby Jindal.”
For instance: He has signed bills that allow folks to tote their guns to church; to bring their guns into restaurants that serve booze; to apply for lifetime concealed-carry permits. He has broadened the state’s Stand Your Ground law, making it easier to absolve people with itchy trigger fingers. He has made it a crime to publish the names of people who have concealed-carry permits. (He has also pushed for cuts in the state funding of mental health facilities.)
Let’s see, what else….Louisiana doesn’t require background checks on private gun sales, even for assault weapons. Nor does it require gun owners to register their firearms.
In other words, Jindal has been in pivotal in aiding and abetting our arsenal illness. He “never imagined” that an unhinged guy could buy a gun in a similarly lax neighboring state – a guy who has praised Hitler and railed against women in the workplace – and cross the border to kill women like this? What a crock. Jindal and his fellow NRA servants are a prime symptom of our illness. We have “gaps in the system” because these politicians want it that way.
All they offer, instead, are the boilerplate thoughts n’ prayers.
Jindal said Friday that we should be “hugging these families” and “praying for these families.” As if those worthless gestures can bring back the women who had assumed they’d be alive this morning. Thoughts n’ prayers are fig leafs for political cowardice, snake oil for our collective numbness.
Forget prayer; Jindal expressed his true religion at a conservative political conference in 2012 when he declared: “In Louisiana and all across America, we love us some guns.”
We surely do. We love them to death. Call it American exceptionalism.
Speaking of Republican also-rans, Mike Huckabee (who has been starved for attention in the Summer of The Donald) managed to get on the radar this weekend with his creative assault on President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. He played the Holocaust card. He said that Obama’s deal will “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”
In other words, Obama is Adolf Hitler….but wait a sec, I thought Obama was supposed to be Neville Chamberlain.
Leave it to the right-wingers to place the president on both sides of the Munich negotiating table.