AFTERMATH OF A SHOOTING:
Congress sticks to its guns;
Even when it's the target
THIS is Cat.
I’ll be doing the blog today, because Phoebe’s been lost in deep thought since the shooting June 14, when Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana was nearly killed, five others were wounded and the would-be assassin was shot to death.
I know, a dog in “deep thought” is something of an oxymoron (Phoebe: That means a contradictory statement.) But let’s cut our girl a break. She’s been freaking out since the incident.
It took us several days to even talk about what happened when Republicans were practicing for the annual Congressional charity baseball game. Phoebe finally broke the silence by cursing out the Right Wingers (Yup – Sweet Phoebe) who blamed the Left for the shooting by creating a toxic atmosphere with their verbal assaults on President Trump.
“Not to pour salt on the wound." I said, "but it’s kind of hard to ignore the fact that the would-be assassin was a Left Wing loud mouth who volunteered for the campaign of the King of Left Wing, Bernie Sanders.
“Like most of these shooters, that guy was a whack job,” Phoebe said, “And secondly, for the Right to complain about toxic talk is like a skunk calling 911 about that terrible smell that's stinking up the neighborhood. It started with Trump: He campaigned in the gutter; and he’s governing from the gutter.”
“That remark doesn’t even make sense,” I said, “It’s an ugly thing to say about anyone on the radio or anywhere else.”
“You’re right about that,” Phoebe said, a concession that was so rare that it nearly knocked me off the couch. “Name-calling is stupid. Still, that’s not the point, Cat.”
I could see what was coming next, like a bullet aimed straight for my cat brain (thankfully, a small and elusive target).
“Guns,” Phoebe said, “it’s the damn guns. And the Republicans, the Right, the NRA, the crazies won’t do anything about them, not before the shooting, not after.”
“Actually,” I said, “the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia is a perfect example of what that NRA guy, Wayne LaPierre, meant after the terrible shooting of those school kids a few years ago in Connecticut: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
The fur stood up on Phoebe’s neck, and I could hear that primeval growl that she uses when the mail lady comes to our house. I actually feared for MY life. But I bravely soldiered on:
“If the Capitol Police hadn’t shot that guy, Rep. Scalise would have died for sure, along with FIFTEEN other Representatives and TWO Senators. It was just lucky that the security guys – Good Guys With Guns - were there!”
Phoebe struggled to catch her breath: “If there weren’t so many guns, Cat, so many horrible guns, Nut Jobs wouldn’t be so dangerous in Virginia or anywhere.”
Twenty children – 6- and 7-year-olds – at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown were murdered by a guy who first shot his mother (four rounds to her head), then the kids and six grownups, including the school principal, and finally himself.
“Children, children, children, children,” Phoebe said, “murdered with that ‘Bushmaster’ rifle and Glock and his other guns. And you know what effect that had? More stupid gun laws. Laws allowing guns in colleges, guns in bars, concealed guns. Children shot to death at school, and the result is guns, guns, and more guns?”
Phoebe was shaking with such fury that I was glad that here in the liberal Northeast dogs can't own guns – at least not yet.
But the girl wasn’t finished.
“How about Gabby?” Phoebe said.
“You mean Gabby, the sidekick in all those old Westerns that Our Humans watch on TV?” I said.
“Gabrielle Giffords, the Congresswoman from Arizona,” Phoebe said. “She was left brain-damaged by another gun-toting Crazy, who managed to kill six people, including a federal judge.”
“And that was in 2011, before the school shooting,” Phoebe ranted. “Giffords was one of their own, and Congress still wouldn't do anything. even after that one.”
“Well, Giffords wasn’t exactly one of their ‘own,’ ” I pointed out. “She was a Democrat. And a girl.”
“What ever happened to the Doctrine of Self-Preservation?" Phoebe demanded. "Doesn’t that trump the Second Amendment? If nothing else, aren’t we all, even Republicans, supposed act in our own best interest, you know, Survival 101?
That dog simply would not shut up.
“But we won’t do anything about guns to save our children, not in the classrooms of Connecticut, not on the streets of Chicago. Congress won’t lift a finger, even to save themselves from guns.”
Phoebe stalked off, leaving me with a so much to think about.
One thing struck me right off the bat: That girl is never going to make a very good hunting dog.
You can bet your life on that.