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Giffords campaigns for Hillary, 2016. Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords joined Nancy Pelosi in Washington yesterday to roll out a Democratic bill requiring background checks for all gun purchases, including private transactions and sales at gun shows. The bill, House Bill 8, was timed to mark the eight-year anniversary of the deadly shooting in Tucson during a meet-and-greet with Giffords in a Safeway parking lot. Six people died, including nine-year-old politics geek Christina-Taylor Green. She'd be a high school junior now. Maybe a kid who might have traveled to Washington last summer to protest guns.

Fifteen people were injured, including Giffords, who suffered permanent brain injury after being shot in the head. Giffords has since become a fearsome force for common-sense gun regulations, which has made her, of course, the subject of some truly vile reactions from the usual gun-humping suspects.

Now that we've had nearly two decades since Columbine to try out the "let's have more guns everywhere" approach, maybe it's time for a different strategy. Let's also not forget there was a "good guy with a gun" at the scene of the Tucson shooting -- and that thankfully, he decided not to shoot the guy he saw holding a gun. That was another good guy who had taken the gun away from the shooter.


Giffords and Pelosi were joined by all five Democrats in Arizona's House delegation, including newly elected Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who now represents -- after some redistricting -- the Tucson-based district that's more or less where Giffords served.

It's an emotional return to Washington for Giffords:

The background checks bill has bipartisan support, since a few Republicans aren't altogether terrorized by the NRA. In addition to Democratic sponsor Mike Thompson of California, New York Republican Peter King is cosponsoring HB 8. Nancy Pelosi assigned it the number HR 8 to mark the anniversary of the Tucson shooting, and because a low bill number is one way to indicate it's a damn priority.

In the Senate, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who represented Newtown in the House at the time of the Sandy Hook massacre, joined 40 other Democrats in introducing a companion background-check bill. Yeah, the Senate's Republican majority may quash any meaningful gun reform legislation for now, but it's important to get those NRA-supported asses on the record.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence noted in a statement that, following the shooting that injured Giffords,

the newly sworn in Republican House of Representatives mourned for their colleague, sent thoughts and prayers, and held moments of silence. But they did little else. The inaction continued in the GOP-led Congress for eight years.

Time for that to change. And of course all the usual idiots are gunsplaining that since background checks can't stop all shootings, then why even bother having them? After all, the guy who shot Giffords had passed a background check, haw haw, she is DUMB. As everyone knows, laws that don't eliminate problems are useless, which is precisely why so many states have abandoned speeding and drunk driving laws, which have failed to eliminate traffic deaths. The very folks who say gun regulations can't conceivably screen out people who have no business owning a gun also insist, of course, that we need very restrictive voter ID laws to eliminate a handful of voter impersonation cases.

So yes, HB 8 won't address everything on the gun-grabbing agenda -- it addresses only background checks, but that's still a big deal: Because background checks are currently only required for sales through federally licensed dealers, about a fifth of total gun sales involve no background check at all. The bill includes exemptions for some gun transfers, so please can the outraged editorials about the injustice of having to get government permission for granddad's hunting rifle to be given to Johnny on his 18th birthday -- that's exempt, as are temporarily loaning a friend a gun for hunting. (Action movie heroes will totally have to fill out a federal form before tossing an AR-15 to a sidekick, however. Darn liberal regulations!)

Like a lot of legislation being introduced in the House, this is mostly a political bill since Donald Trump would of course veto it. But it's also a promise for what Dems can do if they take the Senate and presidency in 2020, and this time around, the country isn't in any mood to let the NRA set the agenda.

[CNN / Slate / Arizona Republic / WaPo / Politico / Photo by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0)

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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