These Murders are on You, Scalia

(Editor's Note: This is the first part of a short series on gun control arising from the Tennessee church shootings. To read the next part in the series, please go here.)

by Jeff Siegel

And on you, Rush Limbaugh, and on you, FOX News, and on every other hate-mongering, venom-spewing, ideology-bashing big mouth out there, who figures that they know everything, that everyone else is wrong, and that it’s all a game that you’re going to win because you’re more manly than the rest of us.

Two people are dead at a Tennessee church — a church, of all places — because some poor, deranged slob listened to that crap and figured that the source of his problems was a church that believed that God doesn’t discriminate because of race, creed, or income.

Supreme Court Injustice Antonin Scalia’s ringing endorsement of the right to bear arms — “(W)hen the able-bodied men of a nation are trained in arms and organized, they are better able to resist tyranny" — was as large a piece of judicial activism as anything Justice Earl Warren ever did, and put the shotgun in 58-year-old Jim Adkisson’s hands. Limbaugh, FOX and the rest gave him the rationale. Liberals are scum, little better than a mad dog. And what do you do with a mad dog? You shoot it.

Or, as Molly Ivins wrote almost 15 years ago:

Bubba listens to Limbaugh because Limbaugh gives him someone to blame for the fact that Bubba is getting screwed. He's working harder, getting paid less in constant dollars and falling further and further behind. Not only is Bubba never gonna be able to buy a house, he can barely afford a trailer. Hell, he can barely afford the payments on the pickup.

That sounds, terribly and awfully, like Adkisson, according to the news reports. "It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that, and his stated hatred for the liberal movement," said a local police official.

The liberal movement? That would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. Liberalism is at its lowest ebb in this country in at least 50 years, and the only place where a liberal movement still exists is in the feverish minds of people like Limbaugh and Scalia. Feel insecure and inadequate about yourself? Then create a bogeyman to demonize. And if a couple of people get killed in the process, what difference does it make? They were just liberals.

One final note: U.S. politicians are running rightward these days as fast as their greedy little feet will carry them. You doubt this? Then pay careful attention, and note how many of them decry these murders as hate crimes, and who put the blame at the feet of Limbaugh and FOX News and Scalia. If one does it, it will be a lot. And mark my words: Neither of the presidential candidates will say one word about this, unless they're mouthing an empty platitude.

(To read the next post in this short series on gun control, please go here.)

For other posts on the topic of guns and the lack of gun control, please see:
(Photo by mrpattersonsir of Ayr, Scotland, via Flickr, using a Creative Commons License; the photo was discovered by using everystockphoto.)

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