In a previous post about creative right-wing lies about the Violence Against Women Act and why it's totally not a psychotic fringe opinion or symptom of mental illness to oppose it, I mentioned the term rightwashing, which I defined as "a sub-type of spin; it is the art and science of taking reactionary, right-wing stances and attempting to render them more palatable through misdirection and, often, outright lies."
In addition to opposition to VAWA, a second example of rightwashing is busily churning away right now, and in a state both proximate to Utah and near and dear to my heart -- Colorado!
Colorado, you see, has recently come down with a bad case of common sense. The once proudly red Centennial State has in the last few years legalized weed ("Rocky mountain high," as they say) and gay marriage and contributed its electoral votes to the Democrat Usurper In Chief. Colorado can now add a reasonable, effective piece of gun control legislation to its list of political accomplishments.
Now, "reasonable" and "effective" are not words I use very often when it comes to gun control. I'm a huge fan of guns and a big proponent of gun rights. I have a bone-deep love of most things that explode, and am as big a fan and defender of the 2nd amendment as I am of the 1st (or any portion of the Bill of Rights, really). However, because I am not a complete goon, I do not think the right to bear arms is actually under any kind of significant attack in the United States, just as I don't believe that "Bible-believing Christians" are facing a slow march into FEMA camps at the behest of elitist homofascst conspirators. I'll leave that kind of crap to Alex Jones -- I've always been more of a Coast to Coast AM guy, anyway.
|don't be an idiot, they are not coming for your guns (they are coming for your illegally downloaded music, movies, and academic journal articles)|
You're not going to catch me singing the praises of restrictions on civil liberty very often, and I do consider gun rights a civil liberty. With that said, Colorado recently passed Senate Bill 197, which bans the possession of firearms by persons convicted of crimes related to domestic violence, or under a restrictive order pertaining to domestic violence. Good for Colorado!
Before we get to the rightwashing regarding this law, two quick points and one brief-ish rant.
Point the first: under federal law (18 USC 922 [g] , or the so-called "Lautenberg Amendment" to the Ombnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997) domestic abusers are already barred from access to firearms. Despite that fact, this federal law is rarely enforced. SB 197 requires judges to issue orders to those under protective orders or those convicted of domestic abuse to either store their guns with licensed dealers or law enforcement or sell them, and produce a receipt proving this withiin one to three days.
Point the second: despite whining by conservative Colorado Republicans that people subjected to SB 197 "haven't necessarily been convicted of any crime," that is only technically true, and just barely. In fact, people barred from firearm access by the law either have in fact been convicted of domestic violence or have at the very least been hit with a protective/restraining order, which isn't (despite the mewling of so-called "Men's Rights Activists") exactly something you can pick up at the corner store in a fit of pique if your partner does something irritating.
|completely unjustified restraining orders, $14.95 (comes with a free issue of 'People")|
Now, allow me to froth for one brief second. As I already stated, I'm a huge gun rights enthusiast. If anything, I think most gun laws are slightly too restrictive (in Utah, perhaps less so). However, if you are convicted of domestic violence -- if you are enough of a threat to your partner that you have a restraining order out against you -- you have lost your gun privileges. In the same way that someone who racks up enough DUIs or reckless driving convictions should in no way be allowed behind the wheel of a car, someone who exhibits aggressive and belligerent behavior should not have access to guns (hell, if you want an example of where that sort of behavior leads, look no further than the case of one "Super" Dell Schanze here in Utah -- Schanze has never had a restraining order against him or committed domestic violence, but he is a *sterling* example of a guy who should not have access to guns).
So, here we have a bill -- like the Violence Against Women Act -- that only lunatics and irradiated clowns with syphilitic brains would oppose.
Bring on the clowns!
"It does raise a question in a reasonable person's mind. Is this some sort of cover to deflect from [Colorado Democrats'] clear attack on the Second Amendment that makes young ladies less safe on college campuses?" -- Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray
"This bill is ripe for abuse. It's ripe for confiscation of personal private property." -- Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs
That second quote is important, as Cadman's use of the word "confiscation" is a form of dog whistle that gun people hear loud and clear. "Gun confiscation," like "New World Order," "FEMA," "Agneda 21," etc. etc. is a way of speaking to right-wing militia weirdos in a code that vibrates at the direct recieving frequency of their deepest, ugliest id-based fears about creeping totalitarianism (weirdly, actual creeping totalitarianism when it comes to issues like the drug war / prison-industrial complex doesn't seem to bother them that much, just the thought that NOBUMMER IS COMING FOR THEIR GUNZZZ).
Between "principled" opposition by conservatives to the Violence Against Women Act and "principled" opposition by conservatives to keeping guns out of the hands of domestic violence perpetrators in Colorado, I'm starting to see a pattern here, and all the rightwashing in the world -- all the talk of "confiscation" or "the persecution of alleged batterers" -- doesn't make it look any better than simple, stupid, spiteful rallying to the cause of those poor, poor wife-beaters*.
* --...and husband-beaters, and partner-beaters, etc.