[Tennessee] State Sen. Stacey Campfield joked on his personal blog Monday about “assault pressure cookers” in the wake of last week’s bombing in Boston. […]Oh, he's so clever. I bet you can kill someone with a comb, too, if you're sufficiently motivated! Let's ban combs! Tee hee!
The point of Campfield’s first post seemed clear enough. Under a headline that referred to U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, one of the leading proponents of gun control, Campfield cataloged the dangerous features on a pressure cooker, including a “muzzle break thingy,” “tactical grip” and “evil, black” color. Pressure cookers were, of course, turned into IEDs in the Boston bombings.
He said commentators on the left should be calling for “crock pot control” if they meant to be consistent with their calls for gun control after December’s Sandy Hook shooting.Let's imagine a scenario in which roughly 4,000 Americans have been killed by weaponized pressure cookers between last December and now. I'm willing to bet Campfield would be fairly beside himself demanding we stop bad people from getting pressure cookers, and the idea of letting people who have already have a history of assaulting people with pressure cookers buy more pressure cookers, due only to our own unwillingness to check up on those things, would sound so stupid that nobody would even propose such a thing. Let's imagine a world in which, whenever a child finds a pressure cooker under his parents' bed, there's a good chance that child dies. We'd damn well be figuring out what to do about parents who leave goddamn pressure cookers under their beds. Yes, you can kill someone with a pressure cooker, or a spoon, or a piece of stout twine—but there's nothing better for killing people than an actual weapon.
This really isn't a difficult question. We don't let your average citizens have grenades. We don't let them have surface to air missiles. We don't let them have machine guns. We're really not all that dumb about these things, we know that when it comes to weapons designed to be weapons, there are certain limits to be set for the public safety. All these debates are just about where the limits are. Now, however, we're hearing that signing a U.N. treaty to help prevent weapons from being sent to terrorists and drug cartels and child armies is an assault on our freedomz, and that checking—even merely checking—whether or not a particular American is a criminal, is violent or is an actual known effing terrorist before handing them whatever guns they want is a bridge too far. In other words, we've turned entirely stupid.
There are no reasonable arguments against background checks, which is exactly why the idea is so popular. The only arguments against the idea are, like Campfield's, either intentionally insincere or rooted in far-right antigovernment conspiracy theories. That's it. We're giving weapons to felons and terrorists, and the reason we're doing it is because we're ruled by morons.
As an aside, Tennessee is an especially good example of this. If it were up to them, they'd be regulating the possible religious implications of mop sinks. If you want to sell a felon an assault rifle, though, they'll still call you a damn Patriot.