Reading, Writing and Recoil — the New Georgia Gun Law

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law Wednesday a bill that allows Georgians with concealed carry permits to take their licensed firearms into bars, nightclubs, airports, government buildings, churches — yes, churches — and, of course, schools. Yes, school boards could allow K through 12 teachers to carry firearms in their classrooms. Because who needs an apple when you have a 9 millimeter? And this was the watered-down version of the bill.

Deal said the law allows “people who follow the rules [to] protect themselves and their families from people who don’t follow the rules.” Yes, because what group has more people that don’t follow the rules than the third grade? Those kids never sit down when you tell them to. Well, let’s see what they do when they have a loaded handgun in their faces. They’ll sit down then. In fact, they’ll probably pee their pants. Pussies.

Supposedly, the idea is for school staff to carry a gun to protect students from attack by a gunman or some other similar event. But the law’s provision allowing guns on college campuses was considered “too controversial” and was taken out of the bill. So, guns around the toddlers, fine, but not around the 20-year-olds. Not that I want guns on college campuses, but what exactly is the logic here? Or is it time to say we’re just done with logic, as a country? We tried it, it didn’t work for us. We’re over it. We’re post-logic now.

Elsewhere, the law states that Georgians with conceal carry permits can carry guns into bars, as long as they don’t consume alcohol. And how will that be enforced, exactly? Who’s going to stop the armed person from drinking? They have a gun, and they want a drink — they’re getting a drink. Oh, I forgot, the bartender and all the other patrons will be packing, too. So, it should work out fine, then. Never mind.

The group Georgia Carry, which lobbied for the bill, posted a message on its website that said, while it’s happy about the bill, there’s still fighting to do (ideally, with bullets). “One day,” the message said, “we’ll get all our rights back.” Really? What rights don’t you have? You can buy pretty much any gun you want, you can carry it pretty much anywhere, and you can even shoot someone, as long as you have a “reasonable belief” that your life is in danger, and the other person is a minority. I’m missing the part where your rights are under attack.

70% of Georgians oppose parts of the bill, like allowing guns in bars, but what does that matter? Lawmakers are owned by the NRA and the pro-gun lobby, which means the Second Amendment trumps everything else in this country — access to guns is way more important than access to affordable health care. And it isn’t just Republicans who are to blame. Jimmy Carter’s grandson, Jason, who is the Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, also voted for the bill. It’s almost as if the NRA folks have a gun to legislators’ heads. Well, why not? It’s legal in government buildings now. BYOG!


If You’re Worried Michelle Obama Will Outshine Your Kid at His High School Graduation, She Will

This week, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that she would speak at a high school graduation in Topeka, Kansas. But some parents and students quickly objected, saying seats would be limited, the event would be much longer, and the First Lady is black. They went so far as to circulate a petition asking the school administration to reconsider. So far, over 1,700 people have signed, many of whom wrote both their first and last names correctly.

Mrs. Obama was hoping to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, which struck down segregation in schools. And what better way to honor the anniversary of integrated schools than telling the nation’s first black First Lady you don’t want her to speak at your high school graduation?

One parent told the Associated Press that she was concerned Mrs. Obama would “outshine” her son. Yes, she will. She’s the First Lady of the United States, and your son is some kid from Topeka, Kansas. It’s not even close.

Plus, how much shining is your kid really doing? He graduated high school. He didn’t split the atom, or set the record for touchdowns in a single season, or win the Nobel Prize in literature. He merely got to graduation day with enough credits to graduate, which thousands of kids have done without being able to read. So, well done, champ. Keep shining.

The same parent also said, “She doesn’t know our kids,” meaning the First Lady. No, she doesn’t. But I’m sure Katie Couric or Bo Bice or the school administrator who would have spoken in Michelle Obama’s place is really tight with your kid. They hang out all the time. If you want your kid’s best friend to be the one speaking at the graduation ceremony, your kid needs to stop hanging out with Tommy the burnout who wears jeans in gym glass.

And, of course, all the parents and students who signed the petition will say, “This isn’t about race.” Whenever someone says, “this isn’t about race,” it’s about race. Like OJ, or Trayvon Martin, or that black kid who just got pulled over on the freeway. You may say it’s about seating and your kid’s special day, and that’s probably true, for the most part. But we have a sinking suspicion that if somehow, miraculously, Mitt Romney had won the election and Ann Romney wanted to speak at the commencement, it wouldn’t be as much of a problem. Just a hunch. Call us crazy.

But really, let’s face it. The true tragedy of this whole episode is that Mrs. Obama might have to sacrifice a trip to exotic Topeka, Kansas. She must be kicking herself. Now she’ll have to sit at home and look at a painting of grass to mimic the experience.


Mr. Obama Should Have Lied More About Health Care

President Obama has taken some flack for his “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” lie. Let us say up front that the statement in question is, in fact, a lie. This is assuming “lie” still refers to something you say as if it were true, even though you know it to be untrue. If it means anything other than that, we were not informed.

Mr. Obama’s health care plan is the signature policy initiative of his entire presidency, and certainly of his first term. If any reader thinks for one minute he didn’t know the full implication of what he was saying, and the facts surrounding it, that reader is likely insane. (Note that this does not mean this reader should cease reading The National Protrusion. In fact, it might be even more appropriate than ever for them to become an avid reader if they’ve recently discovered they might be insane.)

Yes, we acknowledge the statement was a lie. But with that acknowledgement does not come condemnation. In fact, not only are we fine with the lie, we think the president should have gone further.

Let’s remember the environment in which this statement was made, admittedly what seems like thousands of times. We had people protesting outside all types of federal buildings, holding up signs comparing the president to Hitler and/or Stalin for having the audacity to have the government take part in Americans’ health care coverage. Many of these people were already happily receiving government assistance in one form or another, though they may have failed to realize that what they were getting was in fact government assistance. But stupidity is not a protection from hypocrisy.

We also had the Queen of the Dumbed, Sarah Palin, warning that there would be “death panels” that would decide people’s ultimate fate, and many like-minded voices screaming about the government trying to kill your grandmother. Trust me, no one wants to kill your grandmother, except maybe you. And we couldn’t really pass judgment on such a thing, not knowing your grandmother.

We also must consider how the American people prefer to have their information fed to them. If history is a guide, and we think it is, at least until it is changed by those in power, then one can reasonably assume Americans like information to come in the form of catch phrases, sound bites and easily digestible generalizations. In fact, the food metaphor is rather fitting in this case: Americans like their politicians’ statements the way they like their food — cheap, tasty and devoid of any substantive value. They don’t like things that are filled with nuance; they like things that are filled with cheese. If any reader thinks the bill would have had a prayer of passing if the president said, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, but there are several caveats to that,” that reader is probably one of the people who realized earlier that they were insane. In fact, we’re not sure Americans even know what a caveat is. We offer them this helpful hint: It has nothing to do with fish eggs.

In all, the president was battling misinformation, disinformation, a lack of information, and just plain stupidity disguising itself as information, when this bill was being debated by citizens and the Congress alike. So, the question isn’t, Why did he lie? It’s, Why didn’t he lie more?

If it were us, we would have promised whatever was necessary to get the bill through. “Not only will you be able to keep your current plan, if you like it,” we would have told the American people. “You will also get a lifetime supply of free ice cream. And it’s magical ice cream. It is specially designed to not give you type 2 diabetes, no matter how much of it you eat.”

Or, “Not only will you be able to keep your health plan if you like it, you’ll get a free rifle, pre-loaded.” We would say we would offer them the ability to bypass the background checks required to get a rifle, but there don’t appear to be any such checks in this country, so we don’t see that as a necessary addition to the offer.

A final option might have been to offer Americans cash in exchange for supporting the bill. We are well aware, however, that it wouldn’t have been possible for the president to offer money from the government. The public would see that as a handout, and they would not accept it, even though they were simultaneously aggressively taking advantage of as many government handouts as were available. We feel they would accept it, though, if they felt it was being taken from someone else — preferably someone of a different race and/or class than them — in order for it to be given to them. If we combine this one thing Americans love — hatred of the “other” — with something else they love — the lottery — we can offer the following as a way the president could have phrased such a sales pitch:

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. And in addition, you will all be entered in the Affordable Care Act Lottery. Now, this is a special lottery. It has millions of winners, all of whom win thousands of dollars each. The winnings are taken from a group that doesn’t deserve it. It’s all done with a complicated algorithm. Just suffice it to say that if you’re a racist, your portion will be taken from a black family. If you’re a sexist, it will be taken from a women’s group. A homophobe? Great — your portion will be taken from a married gay couple. All you have to do is tell your representative in congress that you support this health care law, and you are automatically entered in this lottery. No further action is required on your part. You just get the money, money taken from someone else who totally doesn’t deserve it. And, I’m not sure if I mentioned it already, but you can also keep your health care plan if you like it.”