Political Animal


April 04, 2013 10:22 AM Who’ll Be the Boogyman?

By Ed Kilgore

There’s some welcome if not unexpected news on the gun front today from Connecticut (home for the obvious reason to the most robust debate on the subject after the Newtown massacre) and Maryland. The Connecticut bill, which Gov. Dan Malloy will sign today, adds a bunch of weapons to the state’s already-existing list of banned assault weapons; closes the gun-show loophole to a background check system; and institutes a 10-round capacity limit on ammo clips.

The Maryland House has passed a similar measure with the added feature of a licensing and fingerprinting system for handgun owners, which will see final action any day now.

Among the items of interesting political fallout to watch is who the Gun Lobby and the far-flung network of Second Amendment absolutists will decide to turn into the devil-figures for the occasional progress of legislation like this. In Connecticut, some pro-gun demonstrators were brandishing “Dan the Dictator” signs in reference to Malloy. But since the bill got significant Republican support (8 votes in the Senate, 20 in the House), it will probably be tempting for conservatives in the state to turn the passage of this legislation into an opportunity for a fresh round of RINO-hunting. In Maryland, the culprit is easier to identify: the bill is being blamed on Martin O’Malley’s presidential ambitions.

If, of course, Congress actually makes progress towards enacting significant new legislation, new symbols will arise of the evil conspiracy to rob Americans of their priceless freedoms and expose them to rape and robbery by those people. But it will be difficult for anyone at the federal or state level to eclipse the all-purpose Anti-Christ, Barack Obama.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on April 04, 2013 10:32 AM:

    Like Rome, ALL roads lead to Obama.

  • Peter C on April 04, 2013 10:51 AM:

    The problem with hyperbole is that it cannot be finely modulated; it's hard to be worse than the anti-christ. That's why hyperbole used to be generally understood to be a hallmark of a weak argument.

    Sadly, we've stopped judging arguments on their logical cohesion; we generally just judge debate participants on their hair.

  • Milt on April 04, 2013 11:04 AM:

    Two minor points. I am confused about ammo clips. Why do modern day cowboys need such large amount of ammunition? Their forefathers tamed the west using just six shots. Wild Bill didn't need 30 shots, nor did Kit or Buffalo Bill. Are these saviors of our rights saying they aren't very good shots?

    In addition, I think a RINO used to be called moderate but because "moderate" seems to indicate some sort of considered thought, the far right must employ a more derogatory term. In any case, I am tempted to suggest Democrats support moderate Republicans in situations where a Democratic candidate stands little or no chance of being elected. At least a RINO will support a few issues that are important to the country.

  • T2 on April 04, 2013 11:08 AM:

    well, Milt, when armed hoards of inner city blacks, or battalions of "wetbacks" swimming across the Rio Grande attack the blessed white families of America, you'll need all the ammo you can get.

  • sceptic on April 04, 2013 11:16 AM:

    Many gun nuts use hunting as the rationale for their gun ownership. Yet, restrictions on magazine size for shotguns when hunting ducks,for example, have been in place for decades. Shotguns are limited to a capacity of 3 rounds, even though the gun may come from the factory with a capacity of 5 rounds. A "plug" must be installed to take up some magazine space to limit capacity to the legal 3 rounds. If you are caught hunting without the plug in your gun, you are in violation of the game laws and you will get a citation. And hunters are OK with this.

  • c u n d gulag on April 04, 2013 11:19 AM:

    Those people are hunters, the ones we're talking about, are nucking futs!!!