Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Chris Collins: Idiot or Rational Racist?

A local US Rep from the State of NY, but not my Rep, Chris Collins recently announced his intent to defang the remaining clauses of the NY SAFE Act by pushing through a bill in Congress to establish Federal protections for firearms rights above and beyond those currently defined by the second amendment.

So what, you may ask?  I mean everyone and their uncle knows that the GOP is sucking at the gun manufacturer's lobby and Astroturf organization's (Also known in some circles as the NRA.) tit for years.  Why would it be noteworthy that they'd bring out more legislation to protect their profits at the cost of any attempt to bring regulatory sanity to the issue of personal firearms in the US?

Well, Chris Collins is also a major supporter of OBL.  And as far as I know has yet to condemn the fraudulent and repressive so-called "Presidential Commission on Election Integrity." Now, some context for out of state readers:  The only remaining clauses of the NY SAFE Act with any teeth are those requiring registration of all legally-owned individual firearms with local law enforcement (With the ability for said owners to opt-out of having their data in any searchable database), and tracking purchase of ammunition with that being reported, again, to local law enforcement.  Whether that is a worthwhile use of the time of the various law enforcement departments is beyond the scope of this essay.  Frankly it's a stupid law, and was a stupider law before the courts struck down some of the other "key" clauses.

But it is a duly enacted law, and one that has been modified by the courts to account for current Federal standards for respecting Second Amendment rights.

One could comment about how fucking stupid it is for the GOP to be the champions of State's Rights, except when those rights start pinching the multi-million dollar companies that pay their election war chests, but that would open one up, legitimately, to the fact that as a fairly radical sort, myself, I think that things like SSM and other inviolate civil rights enforced by the Federal government is a good thing, regardless of what fucktards like Mike Pence or Pat McCrory might think.

Instead let's look at the dichotomy between allowing Federal oversight of all voter rolls with an eye towards disenfranching as many poor and minorities as possible - all in the service of the ego of a fucking narcissist's claim that he really won the popular vote, except for those illegal votes, which have yet to be proven to exist - and the idea of protesting the registration in a searchable database of all firearms in a state.  If searchable databases are a bad thing, because they give the government too much power, you'd think that a consistent person would oppose both.

As I said, Chris Collins is a staunch supporter of OBL.  And has said nothing against the Election Integrity Commission.

So he's not consistent.

Now, he could just be a flaming idiot and unconcerned with appearing to have any kind of compass other than "follow the money."  I can't provide evidence against that.

But there's a more compelling theory:  If you assume, for the sake of argument, that he's a classist racist asshole, a lot of things line up.

Protecting the privacy of people owning personal firearms is never going to be a threat to the Federal government.  Even when the Bundy clan had their showdowns, in neither case were the immediate consequences for the Federal government going to involved any kind of far-reaching effect.   I think that that tunnel vision, and inability to think past the next news cycle was an error, but I'm admittedly sometimes taken by a truly Old Testament attitude towards threatening law enforcement.

Protecting the privacy of voters, on the other hand, would be a good way to prevent having so-called self-appointed election monitors coming to various homes and discussing a person's political party choices.  Just to point out one possible use for the data.   Which is a deadly threat to the idea of a fully participating representative democracy.   Gosh, it's almost like Chris Collins supports voter suppression.

And with Kris Kobach involved with this commission, that's exactly what it is intended to do.

There's an uglier side to this, too

By making it impossible to enact any kind of restriction on firearms sales or ownership, or even enforcing any kind of consumer standards for firearms (Did you know that the Consumer Product Safety Act specifically excludes firearms as type of product that can be tracked for safety purposes?) cheap firearms will keep bubbling through the poorest neighborhoods, and keep playing a part in the violence endemic to crushing poverty - which can then be used to excuse draconian policing tactics, and refusing to actually hold police accountable for things like shooting a black man for doing what he was told to do, because the cop in question thought he smelled pot.  

With that kind of simmering violence you can easily manufacture excuses to send in the stormtroopers to promote law and order - and if the peaceful opposition gets caught up in the works, you can either criminalize their presence in the area, or just kill 'em and plant the evidence of their malfeasance later.   It's not like we could afford to risk the safety of our beloved peace officers by actually holding them accountable for killing innocent pregnant women, after all.  (Well, not innocent black pregnant women.  If she's white, maybe that's worth prosecuting.)

In the end a ballot is deadlier than a bullet.   It has more far-ranging effects.  And it can do more to promote change than a bullet can.

So by standing by while the Federal government chooses to go on an unjustified witch hunt through national voting records, but protesting and trying to stop the state government from trying, however ineffectually, to curb firearms violence by keeping records of firearm ownership, it's pretty clear that whether an idiot or a racist Chris Collins agrees with my judgment about the relative deadliness of bullets and ballots.

And if he can agree to that, it's a lot harder to believe he's an idiot.

Which makes the racist accusation a lot more credible.

So, thank you, Chris Collins, for making explicit your racism and classism.  

One would think that a true student of the Founding Fathers would remember the rallying cry of:  No Taxation Without Representation.   But that would put your party at risk, so...   I understand.  And then we might have more minority presidents.