Amy Davidson, The New Yorker online, yesterday (excerpt is last 2 paragraphs)
We have heard a good deal from the N.R.A. in the last couple of months about how a gun defends a home. Wayne LaPierre, the group’s executive vice-president and increasingly unhinged public face, has been out talking about how everyone needs a gun to be prepared for a coming time of financial crisis and natural disaster. South Africa and the United States are distinct countries with different gun cultures, but people are not so different. The array of objects within arm’s reach can turn a moment of rage to something worse in any country. A gun in the house makes it more likely that domestic violence will lead to murder. (The Times has a story this morning about how living with guns has also been connected to dying by suicide.) Oscar Pistorius’s gun did not keep Reeva Steenkamp safe. Living in a house with many guns did not keep Kasandra Perkins safe when Jovan Belcher, the father of her child, shot her and then himself.
There is much to admire in the confidence that made Pistorius believe that he could challenge world running federations, and make them let him run. There was a clarity there, and inspiration, and the right kind of pride. (This morning, someone reportedly took a Nike ad with the line “I am the bullet in the chamber” off of his Web site.) There will be plenty of talk, too, about what brings athletes to both the highest levels of sports and to a place of domestic tragedy—publicity, pressure, even the unsettling question of performance-enhancing drugs and their psychological effects. That discussion is worth having. But what matters even more is what can happen in any home, in any room, with a man and a woman and a gun.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack's inaction has led to the near-destruction of American family ranchers. Over 17,000 family ranches will disappear this year. Over 100,000 family ranchers have left the profession since 2009.
Is it time for everyone who is not a Republican to start screaming and running through the streets carrying torches so we can root out, and do serious harm to, any and all Republican politicians and GOP appointees? I say, Yes it is. In fact, it is way past time.
If “Fighting Bob” were alive today, he’d be howling in the Capitol. A hundred years before the Tea Parties, Senator Bob La Follette of Wisconsin was the original Republican insurgent. In the early 1900s, he led a grassroots revolt against the GOP establishment and pioneered the ferocious tactics that the Tea Parties use today—long-shot primary challenges, sensational filibusters, uncompromising ideology, and populist rhetoric. But there was a crucial difference between La Follette and today’s right-wing insurgents: “Fighting Bob” was a founding father of the progressive movement.
Read an excerpt from my new book, Unreasonable Men, at the Atlantic