Speaking for Republicans on the subcommittee, Representative Craig Miner, co-chairman of the guns subcommittee, said: “We believe it’s not the gun that kills the person. It’s the person that actually kills the person. That sounds kind of cold, but that’s the way it is.”
I’m flabbergasted. And offended. This of course is just a thin restatement of “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Which the oldest, hoariest cliche in the gun policy debate, a 30-year-old bumper sticker so worn and faded that even the NRA has tried to replace it with other memes.
These poor people down in Newtown are expecting the deaths of those little kids and their teachers to drive politicians to engage with this issue fully and in a whole new way. They are expecting more than a crude rewording of the most stale platitude available. This was the best you could do to honor these deaths?
In my Sunday column, I’ll be dealing with all the ways that statement doesn’t even hold up to analysis. But for the moment, I’d ask you to contemplate the effrontery of the words themselves. They represent such an astonishing poverty of thought and effort.
Given a choice between this kind of fourth-rate rhetoric — so insulting to people who have a right to expect more –and Ernest Hewett, I’ll take the snake guy any day.