“We will grind you revolutionists down under our heel, and we shall walk upon your faces. The world is ours, we are its lords, and ours it shall remain” [Jack London, The Iron Heel, 1907]
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever” [George Orwell, 1984, 1949]
Senate Health and Human Services’ assent to Senator Reynold Nesiba’s anti-gun violence resolution only delayed and disguised the Republican leadership’s intent to stamp on the face of Moms Demand Action and others seeking to make a civilized and evidenced statement about the injury and death wrought by firearms in South Dakota. Senator Nesiba watered down his Senate Concurrent Resolution 603 to make it less threatening to gun advocates and more respectful of the sacred Second Amendment, but SCR 603 still pricked too forthrightly the fragile worldview of the hypersensitive ammosexuals of the Republican Party.
On the Senate floor yesterday, Republican Senator Jim Stalzer moved to hoghouse SCR 603: he struck all of Senator Nesiba’s factual statements and references supporting them and replaced them with pro-gun and pro-NRA statements copied, as Lee Strubinger noticed, from NRA talking points:
|2020 SCR 603—Stalzer Hoghouse, 2020.03.03||
NRA, “Gun Safety” Talking Points, Feb 2020
|WHEREAS, since 1903, the first year for which data was available, the per capita rate of accidental gun deaths has decreased 95 percent, from 3.1 to 0.14 deaths per 100,000 people; and||Since 1903, the earliest year of data available, the per capita rate of gun accident deaths has decreased 95 percent, from 3.1 to 0.14 deaths per 100,000 population. |
|WHEREAS, in 2018, the number of accidental gun deaths was 458–the lowest since at least 1903–and a record low of 0.14 deaths per 100,000 people; and||There were 458 fatal firearms-related accidents in 2018 – the lowest since at least 1903 – and the rate matched the record low of 0.14 per 100k population. |
|WHEREAS, during the past 25 years, the number of accidental gun deaths has decreased by more than 66 percent while, at the same time, Americans acquired more than 200 million new guns and today own approximately 407 million guns–an all-time ownership high; and||Over the last 25 years, annual numbers of gun accident deaths have decreased by more than 66%. Concurrently, Americans have acquired over 200 million new guns and today own approximately 407 million guns, an all-time high.|
|WHEREAS, guns are involved in only 0.27 percent of all accidental deaths and only 1.4 percent of all accidental deaths among children; and||Guns are involved in 0.27 percent of accidental deaths among the total population and 1.4 percent among children.|
|WHEREAS, the best way to decrease all accidents is through voluntary education efforts such as the National Rifle Association’s safety programs, which are conducted by nearly 116,000 National Rifle Association Certified Instructors and Range Safety Officers nationwide, and which reach more than 1 million participants annually; and WHEREAS, multiple National Rifle Association programs that teach children about gun safety are offered each year through civic groups such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Jaycees, and the American Legion, as well as through public and private schools; and||Voluntary education decreases accidents. NRA firearm safety programs are conducted by nearly 116,000 NRA Certified Instructors and Range Safety Officers nationwide, reaching over one million program participants annually. Youngsters learn firearm safety in NRA programs offered through civic groups such as the Boy Scouts, the Jaycees, the American Legion, and schools.|
|WHEREAS, the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe program, which since 1988 has been used by 28,000 teachers and law enforcement officers to reach more than 31 million children from pre-school through the third grade, teaches children that if they see a gun, they should not touch it and they should tell an adult; and||NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program teaches children pre-K through 3rd grade that if they see a gun, they should not touch it, and should tell a grown-up. Since 1988, Eddie has been used by 28,000 school teachers and law enforcement officers to reach more than 31 million children.|
|WHEREAS, the National Rifle Association’s Law Enforcement Division has trained over 60,000 law enforcement firearms instructors since its inception and currently has more than 13,000 active, certified, law enforcement firearms instructors conducting firearms training for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as for the military; and||NRA’s Law Enforcement Division has trained over 60,000 law enforcement firearm instructors since its inception. It currently has over 13,000 active, certified law enforcement firearm instructors conducting firearm training for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as the military.|
|WHEREAS, deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents outnumber accidental gun deaths by 83 to 1; and||Gun control supporters’ claim that there are fewer motor vehicle traffic accident deaths than the grand total of firearm suicides, criminal homicides, self-defense homicides, law enforcement homicides, and accidental deaths is a frivolous, “apples-to-oranges” comparison. A direct comparison of accidents to accidents alone, motor vehicle traffic accident deaths outnumber firearm accident deaths by 83 to one, and those involving firearms have decreased at a faster rate than those involving motor vehicles.|
|WHEREAS, gun control supporters are calling for gun manufacturers to be subjected to consumer product regulations that are designed to result in the banning of handguns and other weapons; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate of the Ninety-Fifth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that all owners and users of guns commit to observing and abiding by safe handling and storage practices, and that they avail themselves of training and practice opportunities so that safety improvements continue to be realized.||Gun control supporters want the manufacture of firearms subject to consumer products regulations, and say that such regulations should result in handguns and “assault weapons” being banned.|
The NRA talking points have linked and bracketed numbers for footnotes to support their claims… but when I click on the footnotes on the NRA website, the links, like ammosexuals, do nothing.
Senator Stalzer laboriously recited the prescribed NRA script. Senator Nesiba invited Senator Stalzer to propose his talking points as a separate resolution and asked the Senate to resist the hoghouse and preserve his original resolution’s focus on raising awareness of suicide and other harms. Stalzer and the Senate ignored that request. Senator Nesiba asked to table SCR 603—i.e., just drop it without further debate. The Senate rejected that request.
Minority Leader Troy Heinert rose to note that he started in the Senate, leadership told him that the unwritten rules were that one never hoghoused a bill without permission and that one always supported a sponsor’s request to table his own bill. “You have the numbers. We get it. We live it. But when a Senator asks for his own bill to be tabled, I would hope you’d respect that.” Senate President and Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden reminded the body “We are not debating the process; we are debating the bill as amended.”
Without further debate, the Senate voted 31–4 to flip the bird at reasonable gun safety advocates like Moms Demand Action, on of whose leaders testified in committee for the original resolution. Even Nesiba, Heinert, and fellow Democrat Red Dawn Foster caved to political expediency and voted for this absurd boot to the face. Only Democrats Craig Kennedy and Susan Wismer, along with Republicans Arthur Rusch and VJ Smith, had the courage to vote against the hoghouse-perverted SCR 603.
Take this as a lesson, Moms Demand Action and anyone else seeking reasonable, evidenced, and honest conversations about practical problems in South Dakota: approach Republican South Dakota legislators with good faith and facts, and they will not respond as neighbors. They will not discuss or debate. They will smack you down with propaganda from their oligarchic overlords. You will not win South Dakota Republicans by persuasion; you will win only by running against them and voting them out.
The oligarchs…, as a class, believed that they alone maintained civilization. It was their belief that if ever they weakened, the great beast would ingulf them and everything of beauty and wonder and joy and good in its cavernous and slime-dripping maw. Without them, anarchy would reign and humanity would drop backward into the primitive night out of which it had so painfully emerged. The horrid picture of anarchy was held always before their child’s eyes until they, in turn, obsessed by this cultivated fear, held the picture of anarchy before the eyes of the children that followed them. This was the beast to be stamped upon, and the highest duty of the aristocrat was to stamp upon it. In short, they alone, by their unremitting toil and sacrifice, stood between weak humanity and the all-devouring beast; and they believed it, firmly believed it [Jack London, The Iron Heel, 1908].
I have to wonder, how many Moms Demand Action members voted for the Representatives that pulled this switch? How many will continue to?
I feel the pain of each special interest group that tries to sway the legislature on an issue – and fails. The problem seems that no constituency has to power of numbers to FORCE legislative action that opposes the conservative GOP agenda – not when pitted against the well-oiled, national political machine of the Right.
O, I think it’s that and gerrymandered districts that subverts the popular will in SD.
Cory Heidelberger, I love your candor!! Such well-fashioned expressions as : “… pricked too forthrightly the fragile worldview of the hypersensitive ammosexuals of the Republican Party.” and
“…approach Republican South Dakota legislators with good faith and facts, and they will not respond as neighbors. They will not discuss or debate. They will smack you down with propaganda from their oligarchic overlords.” Hearing the damn truth is like music to my ears! ~ an obviously disgruntled member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety.
Thank you for your insightful and accurate coverage of this legislative game-playing. What a shameful travesty!