Monday, January 31, 2005
Gun Control And A Decade Of American Politics
From Clinton on down, Democratic politicians and commentators blamed
conservatives for inciting Timothy McVeigh’s terrorism with anti-government
rhetoric. An NRA fundraising letter quickly became Exhibit A: It had referred to
federal agents as “jack-booted government thugs.”
That provocative phrase owed its existence to Democratic
congressman John Dingell of Michigan, who had used the term “jack-booted group of fascists” to describe officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in an NRA documentary some years earlier. Yet such details were lost in a maelstrom of controversy over the phrase.
Michigan has such a way of turning up in the events of the 1990s.
What's interesting to me is how big of an influence gun rights still play in polarizing one's political position, despite the fact that the left seems wholy uninterested (and unable) to legislate gun control, and the right's constant distancing of themselves from an outright position supporting gun rights.