So, is Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney's attempt to impose gun control on Moscow driven by cynical opportunism or naivete?
I did a little investigation and I can confidently report to you that it was illegal to commit murder in Moscow on that sad day last spring when Jason Hamilton went on his rampage. Before taking his own life, Hamilton had allegedly murdered his wife, a Moscow police officer and a church caretaker.
Moscow mayor Nancy Chaney responded as one would predict of a liberal – by advocating gun control. Specifically, she seemed to take note that some of the shots had been fired from the city hall parking lot and therefore concluded that a law forbidding firearms on city property would have mitigated the disaster. Presumably Jason Hamilton would have respected this law and attempted longer and more difficult shots from the street.
Mayor Chaney’s clichéd and insensitive San Francisco liberal-style reaction to this tragedy exposes her as either childishly naive, or cynically opportunistic. After all, addressing violent crime with gun control makes about as much sense as fighting obesity with spoon control. If Nancy Chaney is in fact clever enough to understand that, then she is in fact chillingly cynical. I suspect that she is both.
It takes a special sort of cynicism to exploit politically such a tragedy as was visited on Moscow last May. Surely Nancy Chaney cannot honestly believe that a law such as her proposed gun control ordinance would in any way have altered the events of that terrible night. But political opportunism is so deeply ingrained into the political leftwing that nothing is above politics. They will even turn a solemn memorial into a political rally, as Democrats did when they laid the late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota to rest in 2002.
But if she is cynical, she is certainly naive as well. Rebuffed in her initial efforts to enact her silly law by an inconvenience known as “state law,” she has cooked up another scheme: Change the law.
Idaho representative Shirley Ringo has allied herself with Chaney and hopes to introduce the legislation when the legislature next convenes, where it will meet a predictable fate. Ringo’s bill will not be voted out of committee, it will be laughed out of committee.
If it were not already fated to fail, Nancy Chaney made matters worse with her new and improved explanation for why such a law is needed. She now argues that debate in city hall will be more free and open if participants can feel confident that they won’t get shot by someone holding an opposing viewpoint. That’s been a real problem in Idaho, hasn’t it?
Such nonsense reveals Chaney’s naive side.
Does Nancy Chaney really believe that one of those knuckle dragging Idaho rednecks with a gun rack in his high-rise four-wheel drive pickup is going to shoot her? If so, then that’s probably another manifestation of the same elitist cultural bigotry that informs her opposition to Wal-Mart, Lowe’s hardware stores, and churches that don’t preach a message consistent with her own belief system.
You can certainly see her point. The parking lots of places like that will fill up with just the sort of people that make a liberal’s skin crawl.
The truth is that if anybody on the Palouse needs to fear retaliation for expressing an unapproved opinion, it would be conservatives on college campuses.
One of the hallmarks of a totalitarian state is that everything is political. So it should surprise no one that the phrase, “the personal is political” would have arisen from the leftwing kookiest fringes. What is sad is that this thinking has made its way into mainstream liberal ideology.
Surely Nancy Chaney knows that her silly law would not have discouraged Jason Hamilton’s rampage. And she knows that nobody refrains from speaking up at city council meetings for fear of getting shot by some guy wearing a red plaid flannel shirt and suspenders. It’s just that gun control is a one of the sacraments in the religion of liberalism. In the Jason Hamilton tragedy, Mayor Chaney saw an opportunity to exploit the city’s sorrow and pass a pointless law that would earn her one of the more cherished merit badges handed out by the high priests of the left.
And as the mood of the voters as expressed in the last election portends ill for her re-election, she’s running out of time to get it done.