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View Diary: Pro-Gun Activists Heckle Newtown Dad (32 comments)

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  •  Except you're very much wrong. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea, oldpunk

    I went looking and found a couple things, like the real video:

    He asked a question:

    “I ask if there’s anybody in this room that can give me one reason or challenge this question … why anybody in this room needs to have one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips. [Pause, waiting for response.] Not one person can answer that question.”

    Audience members: ”[Unintelligible] Second Amendment shall not be infringed”

    Public official: “Please no comments while Mr. Heslin is speaking. Or we’ll clear the room. Mr. Heslin please continue.”

    That’s not heckling. He asked a question, and received an answer. Nobody taunted him, or heckled him. Nobody was heartless in answering his question.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:35:58 AM PST

    •  Would you have spoken aloud (0+ / 0-)

      to a man with a framed photo of his deceased son in the seat next to him?

      The question was rhetorical, even if he aimed it at the room. It is not surprising to me that you would defend such insensitivity, but it is worth noting.

      As someone who has shown remarkable sensitivity over certain topics, it's odd that when the ideological context is switched you are blind to gross insensitivity. It was a government hearing, he was testifying. He was not opening the floor to public comment, even though he phrased his remarks on assault-style weapons in the form of a question. Apologizing for boors is ill-considered and wrong.

      •  Seriously? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, oldpunk

        He asked the question and waited for a response. Then, receiving none, he commented that no one could answer. He then received answers.

        That's not heckling.

        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:39:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, and to answer your question: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, oldpunk

        if he had asked a question, you damn straight I'd answer.

        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:39:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would you pause (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to consider the vulnerability of a parent sitting beside a photo of his dead kid, or is your drive to register your political point so strong that it overrides compassion? Extreme dispassion in the face of such testimony is discordant, anti-social even.

          Again I don't mean to be insensitive, but as a person who recently took time away to reconcile a personal loss, don't you have any appreciation of what this man may be going through? You'd still use the opportunity to foist your ideology, simply because he invoked the use of a rhetorical question to make a point?

          •  Do we have different definitions for rhetorical? (2+ / 0-)
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            gerrilea, oldpunk

            It sounds like he wanted an answer to me. If it was rhetorical, I would not answer.

            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

            by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:57:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The context shows it to be rhetorical (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              He was not opening the floor to public comment. He's behind a mike, the sole interrogate. He's making remarks in answer to an invitation to testify. As the parent of a murder victim. And he's seated next to a picture of his recently murdered kid. His family has paid the price for current gun policy, it's not an abstraction. That boy is never coming home again. You are presumably not a parent, which is certainly not a requirement to formulate an opinion. But most people would accord this man the courtesy of not using the opportunity to call attention to themselves.

              The public are invited to audit, they are not being asked to render comment themselves, that is the nature of a public hearing. It's just disrespectful. Especially to a survivor of a tragic loss. That's my final thought on the subject.

              •  rec'd with a slight disagreement (2+ / 0-)
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                gerrilea, oldpunk
                The public are invited to audit, they are not being asked to render comment themselves, that is the nature of a public hearing. It's just disrespectful. Especially to a survivor of a tragic loss.
                Gallery comments are never welcome, be it a legislative session or hearing, court testimony, or public debate on a referendum.

                Those who comment from the gallery at a public hearing, are often escorted from the room, or given an opportunity to be put on the list of speakers or witnesses.
                In Court, obviously this does not apply, and your disruption will find you in both Contempt and custody.

                Where I disagree.  Each citizen has a tragic loss of some form.
                It's the nature of life.  I've a friend who lost a child younger than the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School to cerebral meningitis.  Suzanne's a grieving parent.

                Should she be on the list of witnesses, due to shared parental grief?
                Is not her child's sudden and tragic death equal to that of a Sandy Hook parent?

                Grief and tragic loss, doesn't give special dispensation to a witness.  Compassion however is due, and I believe The Chair was correct, morally and ethically.

                Contrary opinions belong on the list of witnesses, not as heckles from the gallery.

    •  Another one defending... (0+ / 0-)

      your precious semi-automatic weapons.

      There is no excuses here, just as the false rumor that Lanza didn't use a semi-automatic weapon didn't CHANGE THE OUTCOME.

      What is with you people? Do you realize how inhuman you sound? Do you care?

      Obviously you don't. So we shouldn't care one iota about whether your guns are justifiably taken away from you.

      The LAST person on the planet who should own a firearm are those who would defend it against the killing of a child.

      "It doesn't matter whether you win or lose. It's how you ladle the gravy." - Felix Ungar

      by Verbalpaintball on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:11:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm defending my civil rights. Yep. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, oldpunk, wishbone

        Do you realize how illogical you sound? The guy ASKED A QUESTION and then, when he received no response (because the people thought it was rhetorical), he said that no one could answer it.

        Then people tried to answer it.

        That's heckling? Really?

        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:21:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  see above (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, gerrilea, oldpunk

          His question was rhetorical, and comments to the contrary belong on the record, which will never include retorts from the gallery.
          Gallery commentary is against all rules of parliamentary procedure, bad form, and of no substantive value to the legislative process.

          •  Hey, if I misread that it was rhetorical than (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, gerrilea, oldpunk

            that's on me.

            All that I've said is that it didn't sound rhetorical to me and if I was asked the question, I would respond.

            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

            by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:51:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I understand that. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KVoimakas, oldpunk

              However, it's always good practice for The Chair to address the gallery at the start of the proceedings and state the rules.

              1) Witnesses called before the (name) will have (x) minutes to speak.

              2) Written expansion of comments (will / will not) be accepted into testimony.

              3) All testimony is given (freely / under oath).

              4) Comments from the gallery are unacceptable and will cause your removal or clearing of the room of all, other than credentialed press and witnesses.

              5) Persons wishing to address the (name) (may / may not) see the Clerk for inclusion as witnesses, as time permits.

              6) This hearing will adjourn at (time) unless unanimous consent of the (name) is given for additional testimony.

              7) Recesses will be granted by The Chair for due cause, not to exceed 15 minutes in duration.

              That two minute address starches the rules in place, affirms Open Meetings laws, and prevents chaos theory from taking hold.
          •  I agree and disagree here. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas, oldpunk

            "the rules of parliamentary procedure" are meant to give good "copy" for the evening news.

            The Delphi Technique utilized.

            Why have a "public hearing" if the public will not be allowed to speak freely?  Say, when asked a question, answering it?

            Or in an orderly fashion, like one at a time?

            When the "public" hearing is contrived from the get-go, it's nothing more than manipulation and propaganda.

            The "substantive value" to the legislative process is that the legislature would then actually know where their constituents stand on any given topic that will effect them all.  Democracy in action.

            I see KV's point, I never watched the clip but it does sound like he actually was being rhetorical UNTIL he says, "see no one will answer me".

            I found that to be manipulation.  IF it was a rhetorical question, he wouldn't have added that final sentence.

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:01:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree that the witness went off script. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gerrilea, oldpunk

              However The Chair was correct, and that comment will never be entered into the official minutes of the proceedings.

              The good "copy" dates back to Gutenberg.

              I'm not dismissive of hearings being rigged for the presentation of a single viewpoint.

              I've seen the chair accept all sorts of derision from the gallery if it's in support of the pre-determined conclusion.


              In this case, let's use:  "Babykiller!  Murderer!" as comments towards a witness from the NRA.

              The Chair responds with: "Continue or I'll conclude your testimony."

              The witness from the NRA starts talking again, and the comments now come from 6 people salted around the gallery.
              The first heckler escorted from the room by the Sergeant-at-Arms, directed by a waive of the wrist by The Chair.  "Babykiller!  Murderer!  Death merchant!"

              The witness becomes flustered.
              The Chair blusters at the witness, a second warning to move testimony along or be dismissed.
              Finally The Chair bangs the gavel, dismisses the witness, and has the S-A-A remove the six hecklers.

              In the words of GW Bush:  Mission Accomplished.

              Now we can look at that and say:  "unfair".  Yep.
              "rigged".  Maybe.  Damn good film and audio.

              The NRA witness had two opportunities to continue speaking, didn't (for good reason) and The Chair took punitive action against the heckler (1), and all sides (7).

              Headline:  NRA witness and seven anti-gun hecklers ejected from Committee Hearing.

              Looks like a landslide for the NRA, and despite the fact that was the only witness "for the opposition", the hearing will be viewed as Fair and Balanced.

              It's politics, and that's probably a good slogan for a propaganda machine.

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