Guns and Cars and FREEDOM

Over at Juanita Jean’s, the World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, I read:

Motor vehicle accidents used to be the leading cause of death in this country. But not in Missouri —

Firearms proved more deadly, and by a wide margin — 880 to 781 — according to the most recent federal data available. And Missouri appears to be a harbinger of things to come.

Some experts predict that for the first time in decades, firearms will kill more people nationwide this year than motor vehicles.

And the reason why traffic deaths have decreased dramatically?

Advocates credit seat belts, padded dashboards, airbags, highway median guard cables and road-edge rumble strips, among other things.

But God forbid that we talk about putting better safety mechanisms on guns! Because FREEDOM!

Reading this, I couldn’t help recalling a memorable interview with the late, irrepressible  Molly Ivins, during which she noted that the Texas legislature had successfully addressed a similar problem. Gun deaths in Texas had exceeded fatalities from automobile accidents. “But our lawmakers took care of that problem.” Molly reported.

“They raised the speed limit.”

We’re doomed.



I do miss Molly Ivins and her tart pen. It’s hard to pick my favorite phrases/putdowns; she once characterized America’s religious extremists as “Shiite Baptists,” and in response to reports that the then-Governor of Texas was taking Spanish lessons, said “Oh good–now he can be bi-ignorant.”

Molly also noted that “Nincompoopery has never been a bar to high office in our nation,” and although she focused primarily on idiocy within the Great State of Texas–a state replete with it, then and now– current officeholders across America are competing to demonstrate how right she was.

Take Missouri. Please.

The New York Times reports, “the Republican-controlled Missouri legislature is expected to enact a statute next month nullifying all federal gun laws in the state and making it a crime for federal agents to enforce them.”

Richard G. Callahan, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, is concerned. He cited a recent joint operation of federal, state and local law enforcement officials that led to 159 arrests and the seizing of 267 weapons, and noted that the measure “would have outlawed such operations, and would have made criminals out of the law enforcement officers.”

It isn’t  just criminals. As the Times explained, “A Missourian arrested under federal firearm statutes would even be able to sue the arresting officer.”

Of course, there’s a pesky little thing called the Supremacy Clause that makes this particular exercise as unconstitutional as it is stupid.

Molly would undoubtedly have a choice phrase or two for this nincompoopery, but all I can do is shake my head. Where do these people come from? And why are they holding elective office?