April 18, 2013

It is difficult to shame a politician. Think Bill Clinton of Arkansas, Anthony Weiner of New York or Mark Sanford of South Carolina. So we are not sure what President Obama was thinking when he brought all the parents from the Newtown, Conn., assault-rifle massacre to Washington aboard Air Force One to lobby Congress for gun safety. The National Rifle Association and its whores are above shame. They own Congress.

Obama can claim he won an expansion of background checks on purchasers at gun shows. And that's it.

No ban on assault rifles. No ban on high-capacity magazines. No ban on cop-killer bullets that penetrate body armor. None of that.

These power brokers are prostitutes, pure and simple. The gun manufacturers provide the money and the scare, and Congress provides a firewall from safety. Background checks will muss no one's hair. They will appoint a bipartisan commission of shills to study the matter until the next slaughter when nothing meaningful will result.

And 26 children will still be dead by a hail of fire spewed from the nozzle of an assault rifle.

Not from a dagger, not a shotgun, not a bomb or an insult.

An assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine.

We know that now. So do the grieving parents. They want a ban on high-capacity magazines.

But they will not get such a ban. The prostitutes are running the dude ranch.

We would like to see those same parents sit down with Terry Branstad, Mark Segebart and Gary Worthan and explain their pain. The Iowa Legislature has done nothing but expand gun accessibility since the shootings at the University of Iowa, the University of Northern Illinois and Virginia Tech. They have expanded the gun insanity since Aurora and Tucson and Columbine.

A man walks into the Mount Pleasant City Council meeting secured by police. He opens fire and kills the mayor. A young councilman named Tom Vilsack becomes mayor. Nothing has been done by Iowa since then to make public places safe from gunfire. The Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors refused to secure the first floor of the courthouse from weapons of any kind.

A war hero from Buena Vista County holes up in the basement of his home with his assault weapons thinking he was still in Afghanistan. He could have laid to waste any cop who came to the door to save the family. Thank God it did not shape up that way. The soldier came up. He was not charged. The sheriff is required under Iowa law to issue the poor man a gun permit despite his illness.

It happened two years ago. The sheriff used to have the authority to issue or deny a permit to purchase or to conceal. The Iowa Legislature took away that authority. It compels the sheriff to issue a gun permit unless the applicant is a felon. The sheriff can haul someone to the Mental Health Institute in Cherokee to be held for 72 hours, and is required to issue a permit to purchase a gun upon the patient's release. The patient has not been adjudicated to be insane. So he may have his guns.

The Storm Lake Police Department has an entire cabinet full of military-style weapons seized from criminals. Uzis, AK-47s, you name it. They have it.

You cannot shame a county or state official into changing any of this perversity, because they are deeply invested in it by commission and omission.

So we go on killing the children, the cops and the teachers.

In Iowa, it is more difficult to buy cold medicine than guns or bullets.

We are willing to regulate death by meth but not by lead.

We are all cowards, all prostitutes, really, for the National Rifle Association and its industrial clients. We are not defending the hunter or the person who fantasizes about defending his home. We are defending the right of gun manufacturers to push death on America in any way it would like.

Go ahead with your background checks. The BV County Sheriff will still have to issue the permit for a concealed weapon so a Storm Lake cop can get shot in the head on a traffic stop.

Or 26 kids can get mowed down in a kindergarten classroom.

It's a filthy business in a state and nation that does not know shame.