It has been a strange and eventful week, and there's lots to talk about. So I'll be skipping around a bit this go around. But it all ends in an acknowledgment of all the prescience and insight that is Marjorie Taylor Greene.
A couple of weeks ago, I updated an article I wrote a year ago on the ludicrous availability of the AR15 for sale on the civilian market. That was right after the school shootings in Nashville, but it appears I could update the story every damned week of the year.
Now comes the shooting in Louisville at a bank, where an angry, 23-year-old ex-employee grabbed his AR and taught 13 people at the bank a lesson. For 5 of them, as I write this, it was their last one. The police were there in 3 minutes and still they couldn't beat the speed of a trigger pull. Turns out, the governor of Kentucky lost two friends. The Mayor of Louisville was a survivor of a workplace shooting himself. And you know what will be done? Well, thank the good Lord the cops showed more guts than our elected representatives.
And speaking of guts, how about San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich going on a tear about assault rifles? And it's not the first time. What kind of world is it when the coach of an NBA team has more courage to speak the truth than the governor of our state?
So, the rationality of the government when it comes to this one simple, horribly inappropriate consumer product, depends on which state you live in. But then there's this interesting bit of hypocrisy.
During the demonstrations over the George Floyd killing a couple of years ago, US Army Sergeant Daniel Perry was in Austin picking up some extra cash driving an Uber. He was not happy with the demonstrators out on the streets, though the Austin protests were pretty peaceful. He even wrote on social media that he just might “kill a few people on my way to work; they are rioting outside my apartment complex.”
So, he did. Perry turned the corner toward the marchers, ran a red light, and what happened next was recounted in an NPR story.
"Garrett Foster, 28, was carrying an AK-47 at the protest, which he attended with his fiancée. Perry was armed with a revolver — and as Foster approached Perry's car, Perry shot him repeatedly.
Witnesses said Perry was driving dangerously close to protesters; they also said Foster didn't raise his weapon toward Perry. But the defense team said Perry feared for his life, and that Foster had raised his gun. Prosecutors said Perry instigated the incident after running a red light.
A Travis County jury convicted Perry of murder."
In addition to the eyewitness accounts, the AK did not have a round in the chamber and the safety was on. So the jury convicted.
Enter the pimple on the end of America's nose, Tucker Carlson. As Tucker recounted the incident, a radical, left-wing District Attorney railroaded the Sergeant, and...oh, wait. I left out "Soros-backed" because, well, aren't they all?
He said he invited the only governor we have to be on his show and explain why people in Texas have no right to self-defense. Well, first of all, has he ever been here? And he said that with a straight face? Anyway, he said Gregg Abbott couldn't make it, thus confirming his worst suspicions about our weak leadership when it comes to gun rights.
So, Abbott issued a statement telling Tucker to buzz off and run his show and Gregg will run his state.
(Pause for effect here)
Actually, NO! Of course he didn't say that! Are you kidding? Like the dog on the RCA record label, he heard his master's voice. He rushed to the nearest microphone and, doing his best Peter Sellers, yelled "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!" Well, he didn't say that one either, but he will pardon Sgt. Perry the minute the Board of Pardons and Paroles give him the high sign, and our still-indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton bravely added, "Yeah, me too."
Setting aside the craven nature of our state leadership in the face of anything negative being said on the Fox Network, there is the incident itself. Carrying a semi-automatic rifle, an AK47 in this case, is practically a sacrament in Texas. There basically are no rules for open, concealed, sashaying or even drill team carry on our streets.
Wasn't Kyle Rittenhouse on every Fox show except Howard Kurtz for essentially the same thing? Well, except for the getting shot part.
So put that together with some of the strongest so-called "stand your ground" laws in the nation, and didn't anyone consider that this kind of confrontation could happen? Well, it's our Legislature, so of course they didn't.
And like the House of Representatives deciding they know better than the Manhattan DA, Soros-backed, of course, the state's leadership feels that way as well, so we'll just tell that pinko Austin DA and his apparently pinko jury to take a hike, comrade. We'll decide who's guilty here. Well, actually, Tucker will, but we will follow his orders.
Add to that, the books your child can read. Now, of course, your child can read anything you buy for them, but if you want to visit the library in some states, you may find some surprises. In fact, visit your child's classroom, and you'll be slapping your forehead.
Texas is among those states whose leaders have collectively decided that, in addition to being judges, they should have been teachers as well, or at least librarians. Florida, though, may be the league leader with their "Stop Woke" act. It is the brainchild of the Shop Steward of the Tallahassee Chapter of the Lollipop Guild, Governor Ron DeSantis. OK, yeah, he's short.
This piece of legislation, to simplify, does not allow any school instruction that makes any member of any race feel inferior, guilty, or just plain bad about anything done by their forebears. A lot of this is implemented under the rubric of "Critical Race Theory" which wasn't taught in any Florida school, except perhaps law or doctoral programs in college.
But CRT has become shorthand for teaching anything about race, slavery, Jim Crow or the civil rights movement. How do you teach anything about America without what is more than 75% of it? How do you teach about the Civil War without the causes? It's like a German student being told, "Hitler, who"
But they aren't. They have faced up to their past. Germans know what happened, and kids are taught it. And, yes, there's guilt. And they cowboy up and deal with it. But, apparently, we can't. Someone please explain that to me.
Here's how absurd and vague the standards are now. One history book publisher scrubbed their text to the extent that they explain that the indomitable Rosa Parks was told to move to the back of the bus, but not why. That's right, they don't mention her race. It's like a Disney Epcot version of history.
In Texas, along with race and the rest, sex is the big issue in book banning. Now, don't get me wrong. "age appropriate" isn't just a conservative phrase. There are subjects that can wait for a little more maturity. But at some point, kids deserve to know and have some understanding for their peers who are different.
And I get it. Roughly 7% of the US population considers themselves something other than heterosexual. It's not huge, but trust me, your child will run into some of them at school, at work, and even in church and a bit of understanding and compassion might go a long way. You don't have to change your religious beliefs, just be a decent human being, for crying out loud. But for many, understanding, even friendship, is a bridge too far. So, keep it out of the schools.
In fact, beware the rule of unintended consequences. The snarky political site, The Wonkette found this gem.
"Texas state Rep. Jared Peterson (R) is pushing HB 900, a school censorship bill he disingenuously calls the "READER Act," aimed at keeping "sexually explicit" books out of school libraries. The acronym stands for "Restricting Explicit and Adult-Designated Educational Resources."
The bill would require book vendors to label all books that contain any sexual content as either "sexually relevant," meaning it's allowable under required school curriculum, like sex ed or health, or "sexually explicit," meaning it's offensive and smutty and cannot be sold to schools. There's no other category.
State Rep. James Talarico (D) came to the hearing prepared with a simple question about his favorite book, Larry McMurtry's 1985 epic of the fading frontier, Lonesome Dove. It's the official favorite novel of Texas. But it's also very frank about the realities of the Old West: one of the main characters is a prostitute, and the book includes both consensual sex and a terrible sexual assault and its aftermath. Plus, a whole lot of nonsexual violence.
So Talarico asked Peterson at the hearing, would Lonesome Dove have to be removed from every school library in Texas?"
Peterson admitted he'd never read it. In my book, that may well disqualify him from even being in the Texas Legislature.
It's like the revisionist Civil War history a lot of us were taught in the 50's and 60's, thanks to an intense campaign by the Daughters of the Confederacy. They were responsible for a lot of the statues going up around the country, the "lost cause" mythology, and the whole idea of the bloodiest war in our history being fought for something vaguely termed "states rights." Well, what rights, exactly? That's where it gets tricky, and good luck to any teacher navigating this new snowflake edition of American history.
And just last week, a Texas judge decided that the abortion pill, mifepristone, is illegal to sell. Why? Well, we know why U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled the way he did. He is ardently pro-life. But his reasoning is akin to our amateur judges, and teachers in the legislature. He decided that the FDA approval process back in the 1970's was not thorough enough.
Though the Judge was born only 2 years before the drug went on the market, he just knows the research was inadequate, never mind the ensuing decades of use. And on the other side, many, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others, are saying we should ignore the ruling of a US Federal Judge. So now the rulings of our judiciary, however nonsensical, are optional?
So, I guess we can call this the revenge of Limbaugh. And it is a vindication of a sort for our favorite equine Nostrodamus, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. She proposed the admittedly wacky idea of the US separating into blue and red states since we can't get along with one another. Aside from the illegality and the fact that it is completely unworkable, I have a theory.
We have already done it by default. Given our inability to find any common ground on guns, justice, abortion, books, sex and education, it has happened. We are divided, state by state, issue by issue. And it doesn't matter that opinion polls show the public isn't on board with most of this, they persist. They persist because they are cowards.
To paraphrase something that author Gore Vidal once told me. We began with great minds like Jefferson, Franklin and Adams, and now we have this. It may be proof that Darwin was wrong.
Now, he is part of the Texas Outlaw Writers, and if this doesn't pan out, the outlaw part will still work as he will indeed resort to robbing banks.