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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Reactionary, polar-extremist thinking endangering lives

The Hill:

Republican lawmakers are furious with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for backing questions about gun ownership during kids’ check-ups.

The practice is common among doctors, who argue it is vital to ensuring children’s safety at home. President Obama has vowed to protect doctors’ right to ask.

But as the gun-control debate simmers in Washington, conservative lawmakers said pediatricians go too far when they inquire about family firearms.

“It’s not their business,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a member of the House Judiciary Committee. “It’s like asking, ‘Do people pray in your home? Do they voice opinions contrary to the [Obama] administration?’”

First, let me say that Steve King is now and has always been a freakin’ fruitbasket. If it weren’t for Louie Gohmert, he would be — by a comfortable margin — the absolute dumbest man in Washington. Asking whether there are firearms in the house isn’t politically motivated, it’s exactly the same as asking if there are prescription medications or pesticides. If you’ve got them, it’s good to be reminded to lock them up away from kids curious little eyes.


But this is a symptom of a larger Republican/Tea Party disease — the belief that if liberals think one thing, the opposite is true. And it’s all very black and white, on or off, up or down. There is no middle ground. Liberals say global warming is a massive threat, so they say it doesn’t exist. Liberals accept evolution, so ‘baggers think this is of the devil. Liberals say guns are dangerous, so Republicans assume they’re freakin’ harmless. And if your reaction to a liberal idea doesn’t make any sense… Well, that’s what conspiracy theories are for. You bend reality and make it make sense:

King, criticizing Obama’s healthcare law, suggested that doctors’ practice of asking about guns could ultimately help the government surveil citizens.

“What they’re doing is compiling a record that, one day, the Obama administration or a succeeding administration could tap into,” King said. “Who is getting those records? They will be in ObamaCare’s database file. That’s part of that.”

He added that it would be easy for Congress to pass a law enabling federal officials to use those records to “identify where guns are.”

Meanwhile, Republicans who actually know what the hell they’re talking about get it.

“Our pediatricians do a fabulous job,” said Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), an OBGYN with an “A” rating from the NRA. “In the spirit of knowing that maybe there were guns in the home, to advise a parent or a legal guardian about gun safety, I think I understand.”

“If I’m a pediatrician, I want to make sure the kids I take care of are safe,” said Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), a physician. “So having a discussion about all types of things … I don’t have a problem with it.”

Unfortunately these days, Republicans who know what the hell they’re talking about — on pretty much any issue — are few and far between. It’s the party of kneejerk reactionaries, pride in ignorance, and logical dead ends.

You liberals think plowing a car into a brick wall at 90 mph is bad? Ha! I’ll show you.


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