Mar 21, 2013

And to think Ayn Rand loved Colorado

Once upon a time in America, usually west of the Missouri, there was a useful tradition in journalism. It was a private-sector enterprise called "horse whipping." An editor usually earned the honor by revealing himself to be stupid, self-righteous, and incompetent.

We take you now to Colorado:

The Clements shooting illustrated why the bills, fiercely opposed by gun-rights advocates, were necessary, said Hickenlooper, 61. In a televised new briefing, the first-term Democrat said the killing, while not appearing to be connected with the new laws, was “an act of intimidation.”

The Hickenlooper mentioned is the governor who privately giggles, we suppose, at his progress in making the Centennial State a gun-free zone if you don't count the criminals.

Hickenlooper's new law primarily outlaws high capacity magazines  -- 15 rounds maximum -- and requires a peaceable citizen to buy a background check if he wants to sell Pa's old L.C. Smith to his next-door neighbor. This sort of policy, he implies, would have kept prison boss Clements alive.

--Never mind that we haven't yet the faintest notion of what kind of weapon was used. The possibilities run from a dreaded assault rifle carrying 30 rounds to a less-dreaded assault rifle carrying only 15  to a single-shot Winchester high-wall in .25-20 to a Ruger Black Hawk sixgun to a  .... you get the idea.

(But wait. One more. A really thorough police investigation would make sure no one stole Shotgun Biden's double-barrel 12.)

--Never mind that the killer may have been been able to pass a background check, or had stolen the gun, or borrowed it from his brother-in-law. Or or or.

Governor, there is yet no reason to believe your linkage exists, and you are blood dancing over the unfortunate Mr. Clement's corpse. We award you the Scarlet Letter D. For demagogue. Or dope. Or duplicitous.

Now, a bit of cleanup here. I opened with a shot at the reporters and editors responsible for the cited paragraph, and that in and of itself is unfair. Carefully and somewhat charitably read, it merely reports the Hickenlooper dissimulation. It becomes both fair and germane in context of the entire fawning report, beginning  with the lede:

Colorado begins the task of implementing its toughest gun laws in a decade even as police searched for a suspect, and a motive, in the shooting death of the state’s top prisons official.

And ending:

Debra Reed, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the Clements killing proved why such laws are crucial.
“This is incredibly sad irony that this has taken place less than 24 hours before the governor planned to sign meaningful gun legislation,” she said. “There is no better illustration of what damage guns can do in the wrong hands.”

Those Brady kids are always good for a dandy tear-jerk finish, aren't they?


The other thing, I guess, is that I'm probably a little over the line in implying that we ought to restore corporal punishment for propagandists posing as journalists.

Okay. I recant. You shouldnt. I will go only this far.  If you horse-whip one who richly deserves it, I shall refrain from editorializing against you.

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