Okay. This is good. We have a gun massacre – more than fifty dead and nearly 500 wounded. A clean, white, gun “enthusiast” (authorities found more than 40 guns in his hotel room, car, etc.) goes bonkers and gears up multiple automatic weapons in his hotel room to shoot concert-goers from on-high like they’re fish in a barrel. Additionally, as far as mass shootings go, we have a twofer – three killed, two wounded in another shooting spree in Lawrence, Kansas on the same day. Of the two, only the first massacre elicits big news coverage – mass shootings have become so run-of-the-mill nowadays that there has to be a big body count before anyone notices.
Do these events possibly suggest that we’ve got a problem with guns in the U.S.? That maybe we shouldn’t be quite so permissive when it comes to what are, when all is said and done, potential instruments of death? And maybe our elected representatives should take some time to address this issue?
Well, if you said “yes” to these questions, you’d be all on your lonesome, at least if you were a member of the GOP Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. Not that these folks don’t care about life. Nosiree. They care so much about life that the use of guns to deprive so many of that state of being just shored up their resolve to enact even more restrictions on, wait for it, abortion:
As we mourn the lives lost in Las Vegas this week, and welcome Whip Scalise back to Capitol Hill, we are reminded just how precious life is. This message weighed heavily on the hearts of House Republicans as we spoke of the potential of life — especially lives cut short through abortion.
The House passed a so-called fetal-pain bill, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), that, adhering to the best junk science ideology can compel, declares that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks – even though all major U.S. and international medical societies, such as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have gone on the record that, although a fetus can respond reflexively to stimulation much earlier, the essential components of the cerebral cortex have not developed sufficiently to permit the experience of pain until at least 26 weeks.
No surprise to Missourians, our local GOPers were among those so overcome by antics of a shooter in Las Vegas that they just had to put in jeopardy the lives of women who have potentially life-threatening, problematic, late term pregnancies – because the largest number of late term abortions, a procedure that is exceedingly rare to start with, is a due to just such complications. Among those Missourians who offered especially emotive support for the bill were Reps. Ann Wagner (R-2) and Vicky Hartzler (R-4).
Hartzler goes all the way with junk science declaring, in opposition to all reputable evidence, that “babies at this age are hypersensitive, feeling pain more acutely than you and me.” But, hey, this is the lady who thinks that our toasters are rigged by the Chinese to spy on us. Of course, this begs the question of why we allow someone incapable of evaluating evidence to make laws that depend on competent evaluation of evidence.
Wagner also embraced the dishonest crazy, but did so with real sophistic flair, detailing the developmental progress of her incipient grandchild, and slipping into the catalog the assumption that the stages of development she listed somehow entailed the capacity to feel pain at 20 weeks:
… Today, we know so much more. We know that, after 3 weeks, my granddaughter had a heartbeat. After 7 weeks, she began kicking her mother, like any good Wagner child would. By week 12, she could suck her thumb, and at week 20, my granddaughter knew the sound of her mother’s voice and could feel pain.
Somebody tell these ladies that guns cause pain and death too. And it’s real pain, the kind that hurts, as opposed to fantasy pain hypothesized by junk science quacks (or hacks who are in it for the money), who’ll pretend that reflexive stimulation equal pain and lie about the fact that the anesthesia used during fetal surgery prior to 26 weeks is strictly used to insure the comfort of the fully developed mother who can actually feel pain.
If these nice Republicans ladies are so concerned about pain and death, real pain, that is, there’s lots they can do about it. But somehow, I don’t think I’ll see either Wagner or Hartzler make a stand even for something as minor as an assault weapon ban. Indeed, I believe that both opposed renewing such a ban when the chance came up again in 2013. Both lawmakers also opposed legislation that would have blocked those on the terrorist watch-list or individuals certified mentally ill from buying guns.
They tell us that they are so concerned about, and so venerate life that murder by means of assault weapons – modified to perform like fully automatic guns – moved them to do nothing more than to restrict the right of women and their doctors to address their own, private reproductive health. And at the same time they can’t even manage to talk about the realities of gun violence. On top of that insult to both the dead and the survivors of the Las Vegas massacre, they insult the rest of us with lies, repeated over and over again in the face of contrary evidence, to justify banning so-called late-term abortions. And yet, both congresswomen have served multiple terms. What gives?