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During Wednesday morning's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) brought up an issue you wouldn't normally expect a Republican to bring up: the challenges local police departments face from tight budgets. Questioning Milwaukee Police Department Chief Edward Flynn, Graham asked:
GRAHAM: Has your budget gone down in the last year?

FLYNN: It has been level-funded by the city at great expense and great difficulty.

GRAHAM: In the next decade, do you expect more or less funding given the budget situation?

FLYNN: Probably less.

Wow, such empathy—and from a Republican no less. Clearly, Graham wants people to forget about the days when Republicans like Mitt Romney mocked President Barack Obama for saying that the federal government should step in and help local governments during tough economic times.

So, kudos to Lindsey Graham for standing up to his own party, right? Well, not exactly ... because it turns out that wasn't Graham's point at all. He didn't express the slightest bit of interest in figuring out how to get law enforcement officials the funding they need.

Instead, his message was that Americans should start preparing to defend themselves because lower budget cuts mean fewer cops which means more crime so you'd damn well better get yourself a gun, and I mean pronto:

GRAHAM: Yeah, I think that's just a reality. So I want Americans to know that what this police chief is facing, almost every police chief is facing: less money. So, you may have to defend yourself.
Maybe if Lindsey Graham weren't being held captive by a backwards political movement, he'd be willing to recognize that instead of everybody fending for themselves, there are some things where it makes sense to take—gasp!—collective action. You know, doing things like giving police departments the funding they need and reforming antiquated drug laws. Instead, his message is that everybody needs to go out and get a gun. Welcome to Somalia.

Tell the Senate: Pass the gun safety proposals outlined by President Obama.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:54 AM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Daily Kos.

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