Thursday, June 27, 2013

Legislators, Guns, and Money

Another deadline has been met and another state budget has been passed. The final session of the year for the NH House was jam packed with theater, debate, obstructionism, and oratory that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The job of the House was to vote on whether or not to adopt the reports from the various Committees of Conference (CoC).

All three budgets were passed, HB 1 – the main budget, HB 2 – the budget trailer, and SB 25 – the capital budget. All passed by wide margins, with a modicum of posturing. The best comic relief of the day came when former Speaker William O’Brien made a floor speech claiming that the budget they’d just passed was the result of his hard work – his legacy. It was, he said, “An O’Brien budget.” The former speaker refused a committee assignment this year. Apparently after being the king, he was reluctant to mix it up with the peasants on a committee. That means he did nothing all year but vote on session days, and hold press conferences. The hardest work he did all year was during the final session when he asked for 2 roll call votes. After his delusional speech, someone moved that his remarks be put in the permanent record. It was roundly voted down. It is fascinating to watch someone walk through the world unencumbered by fact or logic; yet so egotistical as to think that running for Congress should be his next move.

HB 242, a bill dealing with child safety restraints was hotly contested. The Liberty crowd hated this one. How dare anyone tell them how to take care of their children? Nothing says freedumb like dead kids in a car accident.

HB 573, the watered down compromise version of the original therapeutic cannabis bill passed on a division vote of 284-66. The bill is a disappointment to all advocates for medical marijuana, but the hope is that this will be a step toward better policy.

HB 595, the voter ID bill compromise also passed, after a lot of posturing from the Liberty crowd. In the compromise, current NH student ID is deemed an acceptable form of identification for voting purposes. The (unfunded) mandate for cameras and scanners is kicked down the road till 2015, just in time to gum up the first in the nation primary. One legislator told me all about the need to safeguard our elections, because of all the voter fraud he’s seen. None of it ever seemed to be caught on camera, video, or reported to the police. I asked him if he really believed that our elections are highjacked by busloads of people from Massachusetts, he said yes. I asked how (if that were the case) he explains the Senate? Or why the Democrats don’t run everything always, he had no answer.

Everything passed. It was a long, hot day in the House, and toward the end, tempers were a little frayed over the continual calls for roll call votes. Many seemed to think that 14 of ‘em were plenty.

We have a budget, but it doesn’t increase revenue. A story in yesterday’s Concord Monitor warns that the widening of I-93 will run out of funding by 2015. There’s no money to continue. There’s no money to fix our roads and bridges. There are still 3 bridges around the state that can’t be used at all. Some funds have been restored to our university system and our community colleges, but NH still needs to make the decision to invest in the future, instead of clinging to the failed policies of the past.

On June 18, the traveling bus tour of Mayors Against Illegal Guns came to Concord. Local gun safety advocates procured a permit to have a peaceful memorial vigil on the State House Plaza. The names of the 6000+ who have been killed by guns since the Sandy Hook school massacre were going to be read throughout the day. This event horrified the NH NRA group, who sent out emails to inflame their followers. A Facebook event page was created, and a number of the Libertea faction of the state legislature signed on as being quite excited to stage a counter-protest to this peaceful memorial vigil. Disgraced former NHGOP chair Jack Kimball was hard at work ginning up the basest of the GOP base. They were successful.

When I arrived at the event at 5 pm, the peaceful, unarmed citizens who were conducting a solemn memorial were surrounded by about 60 armed thugs who were screaming anti-Semitic slurs, racist slurs, anti-woman slurs, and bellowing into a bullhorn. They were threatening people. One bellicose thug threatened me, because I had a camera and I was taking crowd shots. He later tore a sign out of another woman’s hands and went for her camera. Another decided that the best way to illustrate responsible gun ownership was to get right up in the face of John Cantin, as he spoke about his daughter’s murder in 2009. Daniel Musso heckled and harassed John Cantin. He was eventually led off by the police, fought with them, and was tased.

WMUR presented a very slanted story that night on the news, a story that has come to be accepted as the truth. I was there at the same time the WMUR reporter was. He did an interview with Jack Kimball, he spoke to some of the gun thugs, but he never spoke to anyone outside of the gun nut crowd. The story was edited into being one lone heckler who was brutalized by the police. What they don’t tell you is what the police walked into – an armed gang of bullies spoiling for a fight. It was very nearly a riot. The only NH traditional media that reported the truth was the Concord Monitor. Everyone else has worked hard to turn the story into ANYTHING other than a gang of out of control, armed bullies attacking unarmed NH citizens.

After seeing all this, I can only conclude that these angry men oppose background checks because they would be unable pass them. Also: this is why we call them “gun nuts.” The guy who threatened me was furious at the idea of his picture being taken. I also conclude (as usual) that the default setting for most NH media is GOP. The slanted WMUR report created a lie that was then picked up by media all over the world. NH residents deserve to get the real story, not coverage that’s been sanitized for GOP protection.


“Republicans want to deregulate everything except voting and vaginas.” susanthe, via Twitter.

© 2013 sbruce  Published as a biweekly column in the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.


Anonymous said...

What a mess. And the gun toting scum that WMUR failed to report about is a good example of why many individuals don't deserve gun rights - very possibly - any rights. Since they cannot control their mouths, I doubt there is anything else they choose to control. Their brains have to be so tiny, all they are capable of processing is violence on all levels. Only those who emerged from the caves should be allowed a voice.

Gene Gauss said...

Your reporting on the house votes doesn't surprise me. Most politicians will use any reason to hold up votes, add their own agendas or take credit where none is due, you lose me when it comes to the gun issue.

You talk of media slant. Judging from the manner in which you write of the MAIG rally in Concord, it is quite clear where you stand. You are correct that the media is slanted one way or the other. Be careful where you cast your stones. Reporting needs to be objective. Editorializing, on the other hand is subjective. Which are you doing?

I do not agree with the behavior of the protesters at the rally! It was a solemn event. That behavior disgusts me. The event organizers need to rethink their approach. They mentioned tsarniev as a victim...hmmm. Of the over 6000 names, how many others were criminals killed in the commission of a crime? Gang members? Are they victims? Should they be mentioned in the same breath as a true victim?

I am a gun owner, I don't belong to any pro gun organization. I am not against background checks, waiting period's or removing illegal firearms from our streets. I am against further regulation that hinders me or other law abiding citizens from owning a weapon because it looks "scary". I am against the progressive agenda to disarm me.
I am a big scary gun guy with 2 bachelor's degrees and a masters. Those other gun "thugs" are legal owners to be able to carry weapons in public open or concealed carry. When I purchase a gun, I have to pass a background check and the weapon is registered with the ATF. When I sell a gun privately, I must pay an FFL dealer to do the same check and registration on the buyer. Why don't we enforce existing regulations? Why pass more laws that do nothing to address illegal possession but put more burden on legal gun owners?

Gene Gauss said...

So we should abridge all there rights? Well said! Well thought and highly enlightened!

I tend not to want rights abridged unless warranted. Was it a crime to voice their opinion? Does being an idiot warrant loss of rights? In that case, there are many on both sides including you, that should have their rights stripped! I am not affiliated with a party or any pro gun organization because the intolerance of opinion revolts me. Rather than name call, communicate!?!

susanthe said...

I'm editorializing Gene. That's what I do.

In Gene world, reading the name of Tamerlain Tsarnev makes the behavior of the thugs okay. That's hardly a new position, Gene. it's the one that all the gun thugs and bullies have taken. And given that I was there, I'd say I may be more familiar with what happened than you. Tsarnev's name had NOTHING to do with the behavior of you gun nut buddies.

As for the rest of it, waaaaa. No one is taking anyone's guns away, and it's embarrassing that you all continue to imagine there's some big threat.

susanthe said...

If you can point out to me where I suggested that "we should abridge all 'there' rights," I'd be mighty surprised. Have a few more drinks and get back to me on that, sparky.

Anonymous said...

It's pathetically Neanderthal to WANT to own guns - PERIOD! Those who can't think further than their snouts think ONLY along these lines and no further. Speaking of "Sparky" once upon a time a long long time ago, I was married to a gun nut. And yes, actually he did behave true to form and restraining orders did not deter him from his quest to gun me down. Obviously he was unsuccessful. Back to Sparky. My ex gun idiot would visit "Sparky's" to purchase his killing merchandise. My first visit to Sparky's terrified me due to ammo being everywhere including lots of gun powder. I couldn't understand why anyone would feel safe there. One day while returning from another town, I saw the horizon blackened by an explosion. Yep. Sparky's had gone up, killing a few people including himself. My ex wasn't there at the time. Sometimes luck just isn't with you.

Gene Gauss said...

In Gene world? Did you read my comment? Did I support the behavior? NO! I support your account of their behavior! I have been to the pro gun rallies held in Concord, unarmed. I and the several friends with me saw the behavior there, and separated ourselves. We do not support their approach. Unfortunately reading your replies and those of your blog followers, a bridge between "my" side and approach, and those with you and your side will not be built. Cannot be built! There will always be different opinions on all subjects, if reasonable people of differing opinion cannot use civil dialogue, pose questions, to reach a beneficial consensus, the problems we face will never be solved.

My comments concerning abridging rights were
not directed at you, but at your anonymous commenter. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I also know how to spell "their".

I do find that characterizing all gun owners as thugs, bullies or as one of your followers commented "neanderthals" irresponsible! It is a generalization. Some are, as witnessed in Concord. Most are responsible and quiet on this subject. They live their lives as would anyone. 80 million legal gun owners in this country and only a very small percentage act like idiots. Rest assured that in time of need, however unlikely, one may be there for you or someone you know or that reads this blog, not knowing the position or caring how that person views guns.

susanthe said...

Oh, I see. Chastising me for being biased was an attempt at showing me you were on my side, and engaging in "civil dialogue." I can't believe I didn't pick up on that - silly me!

You eagerly point the "did you read my comment?" finger, when it's clear that you didn't comprehend what you read in my opinion piece for the Conway Daily Sun. Nowhere do I classify ALL gun owners as gun nuts, bullies or thugs. I was describing a particular event. The behavior of the people at that near-riot are the reason that gun advocates are called gun nuts.

"Rest assured that in time of need, however unlikely, one may be there for you or someone you know"

What patronizing, patriarchal twaddle. If you want to protect something, try protecting my right to make my own reproductive decisions. Try protecting MY right to free speech.

Gun nuts want twice as many rights, and the freedumb to stomp all over everyone else's.

Gene Gauss said...

Chastizing, yes, though not my motive. I was not sure whether you were editorialing or reporting and you answered my question.

Patriarchal? Not at all. Many women are gun owners and several I know carry all the time. I do not. My 14 year old daughter is an avid shooter. Yes I introduced her to it, she has taken it from there.

I am pro-choice, pro- gay marriage, pro- marijuana, I am the guy the republicans or dems don't understand. "How can I agree with them on one subject but not on others?" I believe that abortion is the business of only the woman and possibly the man involved. If people are happy together and in love, who am I or anyone else to say they can't wed. Marijuana, what's to say? Feds are idiots!

It's not "twaddle" (real word)?

I will protect your rights. I do every time I vote!

However unlikely, as I stated before, I will protect your life.

I am accepting of your opinion and those of others. I may disagree but I am able to do so because of my liberty of thought. I want logical dialogue(debate). Not name calling and finger pointing.

It's "freedom"not "freedumb" I know I had problems with "there" and "their"

susanthe said...

Allow me to introduce you to a helpful entity known as the dictionary. It is a place where you can go to look up the meanings of unfamiliar words!

Giving women guns does not eradicate patriarchy. Patting people on the head and telling them you'll be their protector is paternal and offensive.

As for freedumb? You just fell into the sarchasm.

Gene Gauss said...

I've been enjoying our discourse. It is enjoyable debating topics with someone who is diametrically opposed to my position.

I never said I would protect you, I only inform you of a willingness to help anyone that needs help. I am not a protector! I do not assume you are weak. Obviously you are of strong mind and opinion. You believe and are willing to stand for your beliefs, as am I.

As for " the sarchasm" that's good. I did not fall in. I get free-dumb and in many ways agree with the term.

Twaddle though, you fell in. I mostly don't use that there big word...I prefer "Bullsh&t"!

It's been fun. I have subscribed to your blog. Hopefully you will accept. There is much we do agree on. Maybe not this topic, but others as I have mentioned.

David said...

I was also there taking photos speaking with folks. I saw people exercising their constitutional rights: freedom to assemble, freedom of speech, right to keep and bear arms. I also saw New Hampshire citizens responding to the paid efforts of a gun control agenda. Our founding fathers thought it was important enough to make it the second of ten amendments of our rights. People tend to get upset when the government infringes on their rights. Can you imagine how you or the gun control people would feel if they passed a law saying you could speak about anything except guns, doing so would subject you to fines or jail time? Tell me you would not be upset!
Maybe if most of those people who were victims would have had the ability to carry a gun, they would not have been victims.
Criminals are not victims, even if mayor Bloomberg wants to call them victims.
I heard the group list several "unknown" names, that shows absolutely no credibility, and no background on any of the names listed to show if the victim was a criminal shot as a measure of self-defense or a victim shot by a criminal. Very little thought was given to this rally on the part of the gun control group.

susanthe said...

Well, David, at least you aren't trying to spin it as a "peaceful assembly," even if you are trying to justify the behavior of the gun nuts.

Tell me, David - is Mayor Bloomberg going to have a damned bit of influence in NH? Did the fact that that bus was there justify the mob violence and the attacks on unarmed middle aged women attending the vigil? Are your pals so unhinged that they have to react to a non-threat with violence?

Another group took out a permit for an event. That event was highjacked by screaming, bellowing, armed thugs who screamed anti-Semitic slurs, racist slurs, and anti-woman slurs. That's your idea of showing how responsible gun owners behave?

But by all means, if taking over someone else's event is "exercising one's constitutional rights" be sure to let me know when your mother dies. I'll bring some friends.

That you're trying to justify the behavior of the bullies and thugs by blaming the other group for "poor planning" is just complete bullshit. They were assholes. That you're defending them makes you just another rectum in the bunch.

David said...

Calling people names does not help your cause. using names to discribe people as "ass holes" "Gun Nuts" will do little to make your point.

I am a Navy Veteran, as well a Grenada veteran. I served to protect all the constitutional rights so you can speak your mind, and I could protect myself and my family. My mother is 71 this year, she has guns.I know she has a better than even chance of not becoming a victim.

susanthe said...

David: I didn't ask you to serve. You didn't serve to protect me, nor do you have any concern for my right to "speak my mind." If you did - you wouldn't be defending thugs and bullies who were trying to shut people up. Where were you when one of your buddies was threatening to shove my camera up my ass? Where were you when he ripped my friend's sign out of her hand and tried to grab her camera? Where were you when the bellowing lad was screaming "Names on a List" and attacking middle aged women?

All that serve and protect stuff just flew right out the window, didn't it?

So, Dave, how do you feel about the Free Market and private ownership? I'm betting you're a big believer.

Let me clue you in on something. This is MY blog. Because it's mine, I moderate it. I don't have to let anyone comment unless I want to, because it's MINE.
Because it's MINE, I can use any language I want to. If you don't care for my language, go troll someone else's blog.

And don't think I didn't notice that you were too chicken to respond to my questions, preferring to divert the focus to me. You and I both know why you can't answer my questions. There is no justifying the behavior of the violent thugs and bullies who were at that event.

You and your ilk may have a lot of guns - but you're cowards. Inside every bully is a coward.