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New GOP Meme: Public Safety? Ever Hear of ‘Personal Responsibility’?

January 12, 2011

In the wake of Sunday’s massacre in Tucson, let’s just say we’ve heard a lot of crazy from the Right. The sheer frantic nature of their defensiveness and their desperate attempts to push the idea that both sides engage in the same type of violent rhetoric serve no better purpose than to illustrate just how uncomfortable many on the right are with their own recent history. This whole mess has been covered in many venues, so I won’t go into it here. Over the last day or two, however, I’ve noticed something I find truly bizarre.

I first noticed it at the tail end of a  Think Progress story about Republican elected officials in Arizona resigning due to Tea Party threats.

Meanwhile, AZ GOP state senator Lori Klein brought a gun with her to the state Capitol this week. “I pack,” she said. “Our safety is our personal responsibility.”

Surely Ms. Klein is a “lone gun” (pardon the pun.) There couldn’t be other lawmakers with that kind of outlook in the wake of this tragedy, could there? Well, today the House GOP quashed Republican Rep. Pete King’s (NY) proposal for gun control legislation making it illegal to carry a firearm within 1000 feet of a government official. And for good measure, Rep. Louie Gohmert, this blog’s favorite Texas Neanderthal, announced he is drafting a bill to allow members of Congress to carry guns in Washington D.C., including even the floor of the House and Senate.

“It’d be a good thing for members of Congress who want to carry a weapon in the District,” he said. “I know friends that walk home from the Capitol. There’s no security for us,” he said, adding that the measure would deter people from attacking members. “There is some protection in having protection.”

I suppose we should have seen this coming. It’s the logical extension of the good old GOP “pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps” mentality. Coupled with Tea Party influence, it seems inevitable that we would get to this point. For at least some on the Right, not only are your health care and financial circumstances entirely your own personal responsibility, but now your very safety is as well.

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