Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The Not-So Anti-Gun Violence Party


Congratulations, Missouri! Congratulations, Democratic National Committee! In news from Missouri

The driver has fled and the victim hospitalized in critical condition after reportedly on Monday evening, a customer at a KFC fast-food restaurant in St. Louis

tried to place an order in the restaurant's drive-thru lane. He became upset and threatened employees when he was told the business was out of corn, police said.

The man had a handgun when he drove up to the drive-thru window. A 25-year-old employee who went outside to talk to the driver returned to the restaurant and said he had been shot, police said.



There is nothing out of the ordinary there, in a city and state where a 19-year-old man (then shot dead by police) killed two individuals at the performing arts school from which he he had graduated. Authorities said he possessed an !$-15 style rife and more than 600 rounds of ammunition.

In its 2022 rankings, Everytown for Gun Safety ranks Missouri as #41 in the country for gun safety legislation and

It experiences the fourth-highest rate of gun deaths, is among the five states with the highest gun homicide rates, and is also among the top ten states for household firearm ownership. Missouri not only has none of the foundational gun violence prevention laws, but indeed the state repealed an 80-year-old permit to purchase—leading to an increase in gun homicide of up to 27%.

Only eight of the 50 top policies are in place in Missouri, and legislators have shown no momentum for passing gun safety protections, despite the fact that St. Louis has had the highest rate of gun murders among all cities in the country.

Of course, it does. Gun ownership is not discouraged in Missouri, a situation condoned by its GOP-dominated legislature and now encouraged by Republican governor Mike Parson, who in 2021

signed the Second Amendment Preservation Act into law, which states "that all federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders... and regulations, whether past, present or future that infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution... of the Missouri Constitution must be invalid in this state."

Also doing poorly, though not as much so, is the State of South Carolina, which

has weak gun laws—missing 39 out of 50 key policies—and suffers the ninth-worst rate of gun deaths in the nation. Despite lending the name of its largest city to the gap in federal law that allows gun sales to go through while a background check is still underway, South Carolina has still not closed the Charleston Loophole that armed the shooter in the 2015 Emanuel AME church shooting.

That wouldn't worry the Republican Party, which is unmoved about firearm violence. However, it should concern the Democratic Party, which becomes energized about the need for gun safety legislation following every mass shooting or school shooting incident.

Yet, earlier this month we learned

The Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) gathered in Washington this week, where they voted to approve recommendations put forward by President Joe Biden that included making South Carolina the first primary contest.

The president's proposal came after South Carolina delivered him a decisive and pivotal primary victory in 2020 and launched him on a path to the White House. Under the recommendations, South Carolina would hold its primary on Feb. 3, 2024.  The window for early voting states would also include New Hampshire and Nevada with contests the following week. Georgia would be fourth, and Michigan would go fifth.

Ah, South Carolina, which has shown its passion for liberal and progressive values by electing statewide ten Republican officials and zero (0) Democratic ones, and which last voted for a Democratic presidential nominee in 1976. South Carolina, whose passion for weapons of death is eclipsed only by Missouri and eight other states.

Nevertheless, in South Carolina, which as #4 in the march to nomination already has an outsized influence in picking the nominee, an estimated 63.7% of Democratic primary voters are black. It might be a violent and gun-loving Republican state, akin to Missouri, but nothing eclipses race in Democratic Party politics. Safety from murder and mayhem is important- but only up to a point, and that point is quickly reached.

 


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