Mr. Tiny Sips Takes a Big Ol’ Gulp

Today’s big news is that snowboarding may no longer be cool.

Sometimes heads of state are racist. Even when they say they’re not.

And Mr. Incremental Pragmatism closed his eyes, pinched his nose shut, and cannonballed into the deep waters of Big Politics. Without a floatie.

I joked earlier this week that Obama’s big talk on the debt ceiling was unconvincing. But this massive set of proposals is comprehensive, reasonable, and pretty much the opposite of the cautious toe-dipping we’ve come to expect of him. Maybe he is, in fact, undergoing a second term transmogrification into the terrifyingly slightly left-of-center politician his critics have argued he’s been all along.

And guess what!? New badass Obama is not universally beloved. About as polarizing as he was when he was a timid moderate.

I usually don’t delve too deeply into pro-gun reactions to reasonable regulatory measures because they tend to transform me into a green-skinned, muscle-bulged, sub-verbal, eye-rolling sputter machine.

But seriously? Obama wants to take your guns? Gun control is elitist? Regulations don’t prevent gun violence? Scientific study of the effects of gun ownership on public safety would hurt our country? Dividing the world into “good guys” and “bad guys” like we’re all four years old, and giving them all guns so they can duke it out on top of kindergarteners’ nap mats?

But people believe these ideas. Which proves that the NRA is the most effective lobby I’ve ever seen.

They single-handedly transformed our nation’s centuries-long interpretation of the second amendment.

The bullied the CDC into ignoring a major cause of injury and death in our country.

They created an exploitative rhetoric of freedom and patriotism that millions of people who are otherwise suspicious of big corporate lobbies believe and fight for.

I would love to know how many guns and gun accessories have been sold because of the NRA’s creative mayhem.

Anyway, the Biden task force did some great work, and I am delighted that such a wide variety of mostly effective ideas are now being put in place, tested, or even simply mentioned in the bully pulpit.

And while I fear that the NRA’s successful marrying of violent crime and mental illness will aggravate the already terrible stigma that mentally ill people face daily, I’m grateful for the budget made available to help treat people in need.

I almost even maybe like the idea of resource counselors at school, as opposed to the NRA’s proposal of armed vigilantes. Except that armed patrols at school, to me, seem to reinforce a culture of fear and paranoia that would hinder real learning. Better to invest in assessing and treating mental illness, training in domestic violence prevention, and the like.

I’d prefer to see all guns eliminated from everywhere. Even water guns. Even fingernail-sized GI Joe guns. Heck, Get rid of the GI Joes while you’re at it.

Hear that, NRA? I, unlike our president, actually DO want to steal your guns.

But Thinkers for Hire don’t have the juice for that kind of peacenik utopian revolution.

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2 thoughts on “Mr. Tiny Sips Takes a Big Ol’ Gulp

  1. cindyokeeffe says:

    Gotta love 2nd term boldness. Every big change has to start with a small step. Hopefully we’ll look back and see this as that moment.

    • Elizabeth says:

      That’s also how I feel about marriage equality and other LGBTQ rights! It’s a matter of time.

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