Senators clarify the terms of the disagreement

Senators clarify the terms of the disagreement April 20, 2013

Meanwhile in the “greatest deliberative body in the world,” the Environment and Public Works Committee met recently, allowing senators to take a break from doing nothing about gun safety by instead doing nothing about climate change.

Given the chasm between their opposing views on climate change, I thought this exchange between independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma was remarkably civil. The senators succeeded in clarifying the terms of their disagreement:

“What Sen. Inhofe has written and talked about is his belief that global warming is one of the major hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people, that it’s a hoax pushed by people like Al Gore, the United Nations and the Hollywood elite,” Sanders told the committee.

With Hollywood’s wizardry and George Soros’ money behind it, the special effects making the climate-change hoax look real have been especially convincing. (Getty Images photo of a drought-stricken field in Illinois by Scott Olson.)

“I think that is a fair quote from Sen. Inhofe. Is that roughly right, Sen. Inhofe?” Sanders asked the Oklahoma Republican.

“Yes,” Inhofe agreed. “I’d add to that list, George Soros, Michael Moore and a few others.”

“That’s exactly the issue,” Sanders said, turning back to the committee. “Do we agree with Sen. Inhofe that global warming is a hoax and that we do not want the federal government, the EPA, the Department of Energy to address that issue? Because it is a — quote — unquote — hoax, according to Sen. Inhofe and others? Or do we believe and agree with the overwhelming majority of scientists who tell us that global warming is the most serious planetary crisis that we face, and that we must act boldly and aggressively to protect the future of this planet? That is what the issue is.”

See? We can all get along. We can all agree that one side of this issue involves a realistic assessment of the evidence and the other side involves a delusional fantasy based on some perverse need to assert the absolute worst about others.

Maybe we can’t agree on which side is which, but we can at least follow the example of the gentlemen from Vermont and Oklahoma and agree that those are, in fact, the options before us.


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Dan

    “We can all agree that one side of this issue involves a realistic assessment of the evidence and the other side involves a delusional fantasy based on some perverse need to assert the absolute worst about others.”

    The funny thing is that it is the gun grabbers like you who are deluded about the efficacy of gun control and assert the worst image of legal gun owners as vigilantes and mall ninjas (if not hillbillies hicks and Elmer Fudds) and their lobby group as the incarnate of evil. Talk about irony! As a liberal gun owner, I am appalled by the lack of empathy of my fellow liberals.

    Now climate change is an issue we can agree with. :-)

  • If we should not regulate guns because gun control doesn’t work, does that mean you’re on board with legalizing murder? Because murder is illegal now, and people still do it anyway.

    Obviously murder control doesn’t work.

  • JustoneK

    Hey let’s make abortion illegal, it’ll stop the abortion racket! oh wait…

  • The only difference between your “fellow liberals” and you is that they consistently use evidence when discussing both policies, whereas you resort to the same lies and name-calling as the Right when it comes to gun policy.

    You wouldn’t need empathy if you had the facts on your side.

  • Nick

    Where did he say that all gun owners are vigilantes and mall ninjas. Some are, some aren’t and the ones that aren’t sure as hell aren’t going to suffer any from the lack of assault weapons and giant clips. It’s just common sense.

    Sounds like you’re the one now who is assuming the worst about others.

  • Well, to be fair, the NRA is evil enough that Satan takes tips from them.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    An inference that follows from your syllogism is that we should end capital punishment.

  • I’m sorry, but the term “gun grabber” always makes me think of baseball players clutching at their crotches.

  • Tapetum

    That’s pretty close to the image I get. “Gun grabber” to me feels like it ought to refer to the people who react to the barest talk of gun control by grabbing their guns and holding onto them for dear life, while yelling about other people trying to take away their babies.

  • Will Hennessy

    Man, remember the days when Fred Clark used to dissect the Left Behind novels? Boy, those were the days, weren’t they? Laughing at Jerry Jenkins’ ineptitude as a writer or at LaHaye’s “biblical scholarship.” How I miss those days of Halcyon, those times so long ago.

    (Dammit, Fred, your flock is hungry.)

  • Aye. Until then, enjoy fellow slackivist RubyTea showcasing some of their other works.

  • Wow, your derailment skills are truly impressive. Like you won-a-staring-contest-with-a-rock impressive.

  • Maniraptor

    He’s chosen to take a week off. Oh no, you might have to wait a few extra days instead of reading his other excellent posts!

    He doesn’t owe you anything. Give him a break.

  • Baby_Raptor

    You got some serious projection going on there, bro. Fred didn’t say anything about gun owners. All he did was mention the fact that nothing was done about the gun regulation bill.

  • “… assert the worst image of legal gun owners as vigilantes and mall ninjas”

    Actually, that’s mostly been pro-gun people I’ve heard making those arguments. Point out that an AR15 won’t do jack against a drone or a tank, and suddenly they are the world’s greatest marksman (as are all their friends). Note that in both the UK and Australia, gun amnesties worked well and people turned over their soon to be illegal weapons without much fuss, and I get told that even suggesting such a thing would cause an guerilla war against law enforcement. Even a simple comparison between the murder rate in Britain and the USA gets the response that Americans just have a more violent culture and taking guns out the mix won’t do anything.

    But it’s the anti-gun folks who hate gun owners. Sure.

  • Thank you so much! I’ve had to take a brief hiatus recently myself, but a new post is going up tonight. More exciting events on Mount Ararat!

  • Maniraptor

    Funny thing is there’s really no evidence either way (at least US-based evidence, since people like you generally argue that the US is special and other countries’ experience with guns doesn’t count) because the NRA made it illegal for the CDC to do any sort of gun violence research. (Technically, you may argue, “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” doesn’t really exclude all research, but nobody much wants to test that when there’s so little funding for any research at all.) So your assertion doesn’t really hold up. Neither side can assess the evidence if there’s not allowed to be any evidence.

    And background checks with ~90% support from the general public is hardly “gun grabbing”, and you know it. Is a lobby group that goes against the wishes of vast majority of the people they claim to represent really all that virtuous?

  • fredgiblet

    Australia and Britain didn’t have nearly the strength of gun culture that we have, nor did they have the anti-government mentality that a sizable portion of our people have. It’s true that the vast majority of gun owners WOULD turn over their guns, but if a large-scale ban passed and I was a cop charged with enforcing it I’d quit, not only because I wouldn’t feel right enforcing it, but also because there’ll be quite a few dead cops if that happens. Maybe not an insurrection, but it’ll be ugly either way.

    “A simple comparison” is misleading. They’ve always had lower murder rates even before the bans, and Australia’s murder rate was dropping well before the ban as well, just like ours has been dropping for 20+ years with no major restrictions (The ’94 AWB expired halfway through that 20+ years and was explicitly targeted at weapons that are not popular with criminals, so for the purposes of murder rate it barely counts).

    An interesting point, Vermont has some of the most permissive gun laws in the country (they score a 6 on the Brady scale) they have the second-lowest murder rate in the US which matches them up at Australia and Britain’s rates.

  • Lori

    Even a simple comparison between the murder rate in Britain and the USA
    gets the response that Americans just have a more violent culture and
    taking guns out the mix won’t do anything.

    The thing is, US culture isn’t actually more violent than the UK. We just have different kinds of violence. The US obviously laps the UK when it comes to gun crime, but there are other categories of violent crime where the UK is “winning” going away.

    IOW, the idea that it’s unreasonable to compare the two cultures is unsupported by the available evidence.

  • Like every other civilized country except (looks) Japan?

  • Will Hennessy

    I never said he owed me anything. And yes, his other posts are excellent. I merely commented on missing the Left Behind posts (and it’s actually been two weeks now, Left Behind Saturday never actually showed up last week, sadly). Perhaps my wording was a bit too abrasive for some.

  • I’m certainly feeling even more of an itch for it lately, after the recent thing out of Texas. A man wound up on death row because between the prosecutor and the “expert,” Texas established a ruling that African Americans are more likely to commit acts of violence, so it’s a better idea to kill them before they kill someone else.

  • Jessica_R

    Official talk of climate change is one of those things brings out the “Well, we’re boned.” in me. Because seriously, we’re boned.

  • phantomreader42

    Dan, if you don’t want to be considered a delusional fantasist with a persecution complex, perhaps you should try looking at REALITY instead of lashing out at enemies that only exist in your imagination…

  • fredgiblet

    An interesting article that includes some discussion about the Australian ban:

  • J_Enigma32

    Holy derail, batman.

    Let’s put it this way: You are sitting in a parking lot. It’s turning night; the sky is painted in hues of oranges and blues and purples, and there’s that night chill in the air. You’re in a part of town you probably shouldn’t be in at this hour (or any hour, in fact) but you need to be here because you’re picking up a friend. To impose a sense of order in this chaotic, world, you brought along good ol’ faithful – a handgun.

    You’re feeling really confident. But your friend is taking forever, so you decide to get out of the car to see what’s going on. You’re not more than 10 feet away from your car when this guy with a knife approaches you down the street. It’s a good 10 inch knife – a big one. He’s running fast, too; got his hood up, is breathing heavily, and he’s shouting, in a deep, baritone voice, “Hey! Hey you!”

    You have to decide now. He’s several seconds away. You got old faithful – do you pull out your handgun and shoot the guy, or do you turn tail, run back to your car, and drive away?

    Let’s say you shoot him. You pull out your gun and you fire twice in his chest. Turns out, the man was running at you because he’d taken a knife from a friend who was schizophrenic and he was trying to get your attention so you could call for help. But you just killed him. You are now a murderer.

    Or let’s suppose you did the opposite, and you ran back to the car. You got there no problem, and you drove off. He runs off to get help elsewhere. Nobody dies. But what the hell did you need the handgun FOR, then, if you weren’t going to use it?

    Do you aim your gun at him, scream “Don’t move!” And stay there? What do you do when he closes in? Even if he does intend to rob you, guess what? Shooting him and killing him is still manslaughter. ESPECIALLY if it can be proven you had a way out without firing at him – like your car. Or what if he’s being chased by someone? He hears you shout “Don’t move!” and he thinks you’re talking to the guy BEHIND him?

    In every case, having the firearm puts you at a DISADVANTAGE. Why? Because you can’t defend yourself with a firearm. They’re offensive weapons. If you do nothing and wait for him to get close, he’ll have you wrapped up and the knife against your throat before you can draw that gun, cowboy. You need to act first; regret later. Even if that acting takes the life of an innocent man who may never have meant any harm to you.

  • P J Evans

    There was a Left Behind Saturday. Maybe it wasn’t the kind you wanted, though.

  • *Basks in the praise from the master. Now to figure out if said master prefers his/her/zer/whatever name with the underscore, or without*

  • Rowen

    I might have more respect for the “Big Brother is coming for your guns!” argument if the people who are using it weren’t the same people who just tried to use Big Brother tactics to stop all the “blah” people from voting for the “wrong” candidate.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Not just the blah people. The young people, the “welfare rats,” chunks of population that reliably vote Blue…

  • SkyknightXi

    I think gun champions would point to a possible home invasion as more justifiable. Just because of instinct, I suspect many people wouldn’t be as willing to take flight from their own home as from a parking lot. So they’ll be asking for SOME kind of weapon, even if not a firearm. Question is, what would work best? I’m managing to think sword (or some other one-handed melee weapon) and tower shield. The shield is important for slamming the intruder and stunning them. Easy disarm afterwards. (This is going to get lanced silly, isn’t it?)