GUN CRAZIES AIM FOR THE AMYGDALAE
Remember the bill that was supposed to try to prevent the next Virginia Tech massacre, by making more mental health records part of the process of determining whether a person should be allowed to buy a gun?
Well, not only has it still not passed the Senate -- even though it's backed by the NRA -- but a group that's more hardcore than the NRA, the Gun Owners of America, now has a new name for it:
The Veterans Disarmament Act.
The GOA urges members to write letters to their members of Congress that say, in part,
The Veterans Disarmament Act -- let's call it what it really is -- will result in the disarmament of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of veterans who risked life and limb in defense of our nation.
Now, it's true: among the people who would find it more difficult to get a gun would be veterans who'd been judged to be a danger to themselves or others as a result of conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. (Gently steering such people away from firearm ownership would sound like a good idea to most people -- but not to the GOA.)
But if the bill works, non-veterans will be kept from buying guns, too -- among them, we hope, the next would-be Seung-Hui Cho. But the GOA doesn't want you to think about someone like him. There's a war on, so, for the GOA, there's only one thing to do: take advantage of widespread support for the military and use it for political advantage. And do it misleadingly -- obviously not all veterans would be disarmed by this bill, just those who'd been judged to be potentially dangerous with a gun.
Remember that much-mocked internal Democratic Party memo from last week? Oh, you remember:
..."Our message sounds like an audit report on defense logistics," wrote Dave Helfert, a former Appropriations spokesman who now works for Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii). "Why are we defending [the State Children’s Health Insurance Program] instead of advocating a 'Healthy Kids' plan?"
...His memo ... suggests a neurological explanation for Republican message success: By using emotional appeals and warning of dire threats, Republicans can trigger neurons called "amygdalae" in the temporal lobe, which is the seat of the "fight or flight" response in the brain.
"Almost every Republican message contains a simple and direct moral imperative, a stark contrast between good and evil, right and wrong, common sense and fuzzy liberal thinking," Helfert wrote. "Meanwhile, we're trying to ignite passions with analyses of optimum pupil-teacher ratios."
Michelle Malkin may think that's silly. Her ideological soulmates at the GOA don't.