The Best of Intentions
|The Miami Herald |
columnist Fred Grimm
The intention today was to comment on the hypocrisy and inconsistency of the morons in the state legislature. They recently took the position that by rejecting federal money for health-care coverage for Florida’s poor people, they were asserting their right to judge what’s best for Florida. At the same time they were asserting their right to tell Florida’s communities what is best for them when it comes to local gun-control laws, and other matters which affect our quality of life.
The only problem is that we just discovered that The Miami Herald’s Fred Grimm had already written almost exactly the same thing, in some of the exact words, in a column last week. Grimm is an excellent writer. We usually read him, but missed this one. We suspected that Grimm, who lives around the corner from our joint, had somehow sneaked into the house and stole our idea from our computer.
Well, you know he didn’t do that, and since the Herald seems to have little readership from the audience of this blog, we will steal Grimm’s thoughts which deserve wider distribution. Writes Grimm:
“The locals-know-best governing philosophy lies at the steely heart of conservatism and it can’t be bought off. Not in this legislature. Not even with $51 billion in federal dollars.
Except that philosophy only runs in one direction. These same legislators dearly love passing preemption bills that undercut city and county governments and water management districts.”
Now here’s a Fred Grimm line that is close to what we planned to publish, including the quote from one National Rifle Association’s lobbyist whose salary has been reported close to $300,000. Now there’s a hired gun if ever there was one.
“The NRA’s famous and feared lobbyist Marion Hammer explained that the preemption statute was needed because upstart local governments were acting like 'disobedient teenagers.'”
That is an insult that can’t be ignored. This woman is trivializing the concerns of urban communities, where gun violence is epidemic, where mayors and police overwhelmingly want gun sanity. What has happened in this state is that the rural rednecks, who don’t have nearly the murder problem, are telling those of us in the larger cities that we have no right to local authority over life and death.
And on the subject of the NRA, does anybody else think this organization’s behavior is borderline criminal? When this group, largely funded by the arms industry, incites its following by claiming the government is out to destroy its freedom, and speaks in terms of a looming war in which real Americans need to own maximum firepower, is this not like shouting “fire” in a crowded theater?
Oh, maybe they don’t mean it that way – just having a little fun while selling guns. But it is the kind of reckless talk that started the Civil War. Hey, that could be what Florida needs – a civil war between the redneck north and beleagured south. But this time, with the cops on our side, the south could prevail.