Check out the videos below (from a little while ago in the Virginia House of Delegates) and see what happens when Republicans are presented with facts, evidence, logic, reason, etc. on the issue of gun violence, and have absolutely no counterarguments, other than “nyah nyah,” “you guys are doody heads,” “guns are great, we love ’em and want more of ’em,” “Democrats don’t want to [fill in the blank lunatic lie, such as that Democrats supposedly don’t want to hold criminals responsible, when of course ~100% of Democrats DO want to hold criminals responsible].
First, check out Del. Nick Freitas (R)’s craaaaaaaazy comments (see video below)- and keep in mind that this dude is running for the VA GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, so some of this is clearly speechifying and pandering to the far-right fringe/”base.” According to Freitas, the problems are not guns but (pick one or more): “gun-free zones,” “broken homes” and the government policies that supposedly contribute to “broken homes,” “various cultural changes that happened in the 60s [including] the abortion industry,” “the welfare state,” “dismantling families as [they] became more and more dependent on the government,” etc. Freitas went on and on about how the prevalence of guns is a great thing, has nothing to do with America’s far higher gun violence than other countries (even though the only significant difference is the prevalence of guns), and how “the vast majority of horrible atrocities we’ve seen have happened in those post-enlightenment societies…as a result of government systematically disarming citizens.” Yes, this is all completely wrong and completely bonkers, but again, that’s Nick Freitas for ya — what else is new?
Oh yeah, Freitas also says he wants to arm teachers (gack), and how the real reason we “can’t have an honest debate” on the issue of guns is that…yep, the “slippery slope” argument, in which Democrats will never stop until all guns are taken away (e.g., “assault weaspons,” which Freitas defines as “something that looks scary”). And Freitas is SUPER insulted about, supposedly, being compared to Nazis and “segregationists” (which he claims was all about the “Democrat Party,” not HIS party). Freitas talked about “mutual respect,” after HIS PARTY killed every single gun bill offered this session, even ones supported by upwards of 80%-90% of Virginians.
After enthusiastic applause and cheers by Virginia House Republicans for Del. Freitas’ cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs speech, a possibly even more extreme Republican, Del. Thomas Wright of Lunenberg, stood up and blathered about what we really have in America is a “violence-control problem…it’s not just gun control, it’s human control.” Wright then rattled off some horrendous crimes, not coincidentally by gang members who just HAPPENED to be Latino. According to Wright, what we need is not gun control but prayer, that “prayers ARE enough,” that “when we turned god out of the school systems…you needn’t wonder why our society is headed in the wrong direction.” Wright then tells a horror story (no idea if it’s true) about how a woman with her two young daughters defended herself with the family’s guns. Of course, Wright ignores the voluminous statistics showing that “Living in a house with a gun increases your odds of death.” By a lot. In sum, according to Wright, “guns are not the problem, it’s…a problem with the heart…it comes from evil that’s in the hearts of men and until that is replaced with love, it will not solve the problem.”
More applause by Republicans. Very telling. Then House Democratic Leader David Toscano called for the House to stand in recess. After the recess, things got even more intense, if that’s possible. Check out the video below.
First, Del. Joe Lindsey (D-Norfolk) talked about how he has “been offended as I can never recall since being a part of this body, and I have seen many of my colleagues emotionally shaken and bothered by either a lack of concern for facts or just simply playing to the media, playing to the cameras, I don’t know which.”
Next, our old pal Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), one of the most extreme and gun-nutty members of the Virginia House of Delegates (also one of the thinnest skinned members – not sure if that’s ironic or not), gets up to speak, and just KNOW it’s going to be a doozy. In this case, Gilbert does not disappoint. Among other things, Gilbert whined about how he and his fellow Republicans have been “attacked” for their 100% support for the NRA’s agenda — even with some people accusing them of having “blood on their hands.” According to Gilbert, “it’s too much for many of us to stomach” and “sometimes we can only take about so much of that.” Gilbert then rants about the “failings of government” – again, not about guns – and throws out the red herring of “the other side” wanting to “take away everybody’s guns” (which basically nobody is suggesting). Gilbert charges that Democrats don’t actually want to stop “acts of violence like this” or “hold criminals accountable for their criminal acts.”
Shortly after that, House Democratic Leader Toscano cited Rules 58, 59 and 60 for Del. Gilbert being out of order for making a comment which “he knows is not true, that this notion that criminals should be held responsible for their criminal acts is not a position that people on this side of the aisle agree with – he knows this is not true, that is violating the rules of the House, I would ask the Speaker to sanction him for those inappropriate comments.”
House Speaker Cox then demonstrated a profile in courage (NOT!) by declining to sanction Gilbert and instead allowing Gilbert to keep blathering, slandering, lying, etc. Leader Toscano then inquired whether Gilbert’s time was up, and Cox again let him go on for two more minutes, during which Gilbert said he’d been sent some “Wet Wipes” by a constituent to wipe the “blood of America’s children off my hands,” and how he’s “tired of it.”
In sum, wild times in the Virginia House of Delegates today, with Democrats apparently REALLY getting under Republicans’ thin skins about their complete failure to take action against gun violence in America. And yeah, sorry-not-sorry, but Democrats are going to keep calling out Republicans for their inaction of gun violence and their craven cowardice re: standing up to the gun lobby…unless and until that changes. No matter how much these oh-so-sensitive “special snowflakes” bitch, moan and whine about it.