Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson was among the first to opine that the 20 children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday were a testament to the need formore guns in schools
, not fewer.
That other pundits and politicians would deploy the same argument in the days that followed, casting even the most innocuous calls for completely reasonable restrictions on gun ownership (e.g. an assault weapons ban) as attempt to politicize a tragedy, was inevitable; Patterson was merely among the first.
So far, at least, members of Congress have been reluctant to follow Patterson's lead. According to the Huffington Post, NBC's "Meet the Press" could find no pro-gun senators for its show Sunday willing to discuss the shooting.
Luckily, for Fox News, they booked U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert. The Tyler Republican, never one to let rationality or common decency dictate his behavior, was more than happy to play that drum on Fox News Sunday.
"Chris, I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out ... and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids," he told host Chris Wallace.
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Wallace stops Gohmert here. Wouldn't it be just as reasonable, perhaps more so, if it was simply made more difficult for gunmen to get their hands on high-powered assault weapons?
That's when Gohmert name checks George Washington and trots out the argument that an armed populace is needed to defend against tyranny. He doesn't specifically mention the Obama administration, but one imagines those words are never far from his lips.
"Once you start drawing the line (on what guns people can own), where do you stop?" Gohmert said.
Ah, the slippery slope. Always handy for scaring gun owners. Never mind that there is very little appetite for an outright gun ban and that one could very reasonably stop at banning assault weapons.