Thursday, April 4, 2013
"Preventing Gun Violence" Forum with Congressman Adam Schiff
Last night I took on the unenviable task of attending a local political forum hosted by Congressman Adam Schiff, who had defeated me in the November 2012 election for this areas seat in Congress.
The subject of the forum was "Preventing Gun Violence" and Schiff was the moderator of the panel which included his guests: Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, former State Senator Jack Scott, Dr. Anand Padya of the USC Keck School of Medicine, and Loren Lieb.
The forum was about what you could expect from a bunch of liberals playing to a house filled with nutty liberals. Lots of sad stories, exasperation, and righteous indignation that more government intrusion into our lives can't magically stop all evil from occurring.
Schiff used his heartfelt storytelling abilities to elicit maximum emotion from the crowd by talking about the Gabby Giffords shooting and how a young girl there had been killed "by the 13th bullet" out of shooter Jared Loughners gun.
Jack Scott told a sad story about his son being killed by accident at a party where someone was playing around with a loaded weapon. Loren Lieb told a sad story about her son being shot at a Jewish center in the Valley by someone who went there with the specific goal of targeting Jews.
Sheriff Lee Baca was probably the most shocking and disappointing of all the speakers, issuing epithets like "we don't live in the Wild West anymore" and other odd comments that seemed to show a lack of understanding of the nature of the Second Amendment.
Dr. Anand Pandya was an absolute nut who spent most of his time talking about mental health issues. He played to the crowd the most and may have received the most applause of the night by claiming that the largest mental health processing facility in America was "the L.A. County Jail". Sheriff Baca nodded along in agreement with that applause-generating sound bite.
I sat quietly in the back and made no comments, and I most definitely did not offer any applause for this farcical show. I was the only person in the room wearing my "NRA" baseball hat, which had generated some dirty looks from the wild-eyed liberals in attendance. I was there to keep an eye on my elected leaders and their dangerous propensity for trying to interject government into every single problem that Americans face.
As is the case with most of these "forums", the leaders there were not really interested in hearing from the public. They took two or three questions from the crowd, then claimed they had run out of time.
Since I was the only opposition in attendance, I will issue my response through social media here on my blog, and on Twitter and Facebook. Below are my comments, had I been allowed to express them.
"Congressman Schiff and distinguished guests, I have sat in silence tonight listening to this forum, and to be quite honest, it is almost more than I can take. Unfortunately, this evening has been a waste of time. 'Preventing gun violence?' You have no method of preventing violence by way of a gun anymore than you have of preventing it from happening by a knife, or fist or baseball bat. Those who intend to do evil will find a way to do it. Indulging in the liberal fantasy that government can be all-seeing, all-knowing and all-controlling is disappointing political pandering at its worst."
"Ms. Lieb and Senator Scott told some sad stories this evening, but I have an ever sadder story for you. The political history of tyrannical leaders named Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao Tse Tung....who rounded up tens of millions of unarmed citizens and had them killed. Certainly that loss of lives is a bigger tragedy than the individual shooting incidents mentioned tonight."
"And Congressman, I am particularly disappointed in your pandering about the shootings in Tucson and the young girl being killed by the '13th bullet'. How exactly does that happen in Arizona? A state where they allow open carry of firearms? Why is it that nobody in that crowd drew their own weapon and stopped Jared Laughner from harming more people? I'll tell you why. The people who were going to go see Gabby Giffords were liberals who do not avail themselves of Arizonas flexible gun laws. They didn't stop Jared Laughner because they were not armed themselves. A single armed citizen could have stopped that young girl from being killed by that '13th' bullet you are so fond of talking about. Just as one single armed teacher in Newtown, Connecticut could have saved lives. The answer to the gun problem in America is not more restrictions on firearms, but rather a larger abundance of honest, open-carrying free individuals. You might have noticed that these mass shootings never occur at a gun show or a police station."
"I am severely disappointed by the comments of Sheriff Lee Baca, who lost a lot of esteem tonight with his ridiculous comments that 'this is not the Wild West' and 'we are a modern society'. Yes, the world has more modern technology than ever, but the threats to freedom remain as old as time itself. If you had asked the citizens of Libya and Syria five years ago if they felt that they needed to purchase more grenades and AK-47s in order to defend themselves from their government, they probably would have laughed out loud. Those same citizens -- if they are lucky enough to be alive today -- are not laughing now."
"Conservatives like myself continue to purchase weapons at an ever-increasing rate because of leaders like yourself and Barack Obama being in power. We see where things are heading...and history teaches us that these things will not end well. A lunatic Mayor in New York City has recently decided that you no longer have the freedom to purchase a 32 ounce soft drink! There are just laws, and then there is tyranny. And recent actions by leaders in this country have started slipping past the peak of the Bell Curve into uncharted territory. Even a tyrant like King George never dreamed of telling citizens they had to pay a $1500 fine for not purchasing government-mandated health insurance."
"Any government that feels the need to constrict the freedoms of its citizens to defend themselves has to be looked upon suspiciously. I have no problem with citizens owning AR-15s, grenades, RPGs, or whatever else they feel necessary to defend themselves from their government. The government in Cyprus recently declared that they had the freedom to steal 10% of the wealth of every citizen in that nation. But why stop at 10%? Why not 20%, or 50%? And how long before this disease of government theft shows up in other countries like our own? 'Oh, that can't happen here' is what you liberals are fond of saying. That is exactly what they were saying in Cyprus six months ago. Things can change quickly...and changes for the worse happen fastest of all."
"I will close by saying that I politically oppose all your efforts at increased government intrusion into my life. Both you and the President, by showing your support for Obamacare, have displayed by evidence that you both believe in unlimited government power and supremacy over the individual. As such, neither of you should be trusted with any political power in the future. And you most certainly should not be trusted to decide how individuals can defend themselves in this country. The Second Amendment is a device invented to stop tyranny. It was needed in 1775, and it is still needed today. It is disappointing that neither you nor the voters of this District understand this."