In this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mail Bag, Ben, Bob, and Chez discuss federal charges for Zimmerman, the gun fetishists and Anthony Weiner's weiner!
1. Is it really possible that federal charges will be filed against George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin? I'm betting that's as likely as getting a conviction was in the criminal trial.
Ben: I'm not holding my breath, but it's a possibility. The federal government certainly has grounds to file charges. If it can be shown that Martin's death was a result of racial profiling, the federal government can nail him. There are two federal criminal laws, 18 U.S.C. 245 and 249 that prohibit racially motivated violence. Section 245 (enacted in 1968 as the first federal hate crime statute) requires that the government show that the defendant used force because of race - and that is far from impossible in the Trayvon Martin case. It would open up the mother of all race debates, and create a whole Federal Government vs States rights debate that would engulf the country in another endless, vicious debate that would probably do more damage than good. But then sometimes you have to do the right thing regardless of the collateral. Putting Zimmerman behind bars is the right thing to do and I hope the feds decide to give it a go.
Bob: There's a very narrow chance, but I think the Obama administration and, specifically, the president believe they've said what needed to be said. As for Zimmerman, I'm waiting for the announcement that he'll appear on Dancing With The Stars. It's all such a tragedy.
Chez: It's possible but not likely and even if the charges are filed don't plan on an outcome that's any different than we've seen so far.
2. Do you think the gun fetishist's "they're coming to get your guns!!" is a self-fulfilling prophecy? The reason I ask is that every time there is a gun related tragedy, the nuts double down on this idea and firearm sales go up. There is already a ridiculous number of firearms out there and it's been shown that more guns = more gun violence. At some point, people have to get fed up and demand action, right? The nutjobs will never willingly give up their manhood replacements, so the government would be forced to confiscate them and things get seriously ugly. Of course, Sandy Hook has faded and no one actually knows exactly how many guns are out there, so do things just continue to get worse?
Chez: Well, yes, of course, to a large extent. The only time gun control comes as a major issue is after a catastrophic shooting has taken place -- and as a preventative measure the gun-fuckers begin howling about how the event and discussion will be used as a pretext to begin taking away guns. I'd love to see a vast number of firearms taken off the streets, but don't hold your breath. If the murder of a bunch of little kids and their teachers wasn't enough to inspire immediate, decisive action, nothing will. This is why I think we should shoot Ted Nugent and Wayne LaPierre. It's the only way to get it through to the fanatics that gun violence is their problem too. Plus, it'd just be fun.
Bob: More than anything else, the voting public has to care about gun control and while polls show support for gun laws by overwhelming margins, the effort to actually achieve some action is weak and scattered. No one wants to actually get behind legislation that will ban some of the most heinous guns. It's going to be a long time before meaningful gun control laws are passed at the federal level and as time goes on, yes, the number of guns in circulation will grow and grow.
Ben: I have pretty much given up on hoping for meaningful gun restriction laws in America. I love this country, but I just don't understand how 20 little kids can get blown away by a mad man with a gun, then literally nothing happens. I thought the NRA might take a beating and gun nuts would have to shut the fuck up for a bit. But the exact opposite happened and now there are more guns. So yes, things are just going to get worse. And that really sucks.
3. Why oh why is Anthony Weiner still in the race for New York Mayor? Doesn't he know when his Weiner is cooked?
Bob: Running for mayor is clearly not the same as being a member of Congress. I suppose in New York City, you can be kind of a scumbag and still get a solid chunk of the vote. Weiner's counting on it.
Chez: He's still in the race because his narcissism is limitless and he truly believes that despite everything he's bulletproof. He's wrong.
Ben: Weiner is a scumbag. I actually like most of his policies, but he's clearly an egomaniac with no regard for anyone around him. That he's willing to put his wife through public humiliation again says it all. The guy has a serious Napoleon complex and a very creepy sex compulsion problem - two signs he shouldn't be in office. I think people screw up in their personal lives, and that's fine. It's none of anyone's business. But to do it again and again, then have it air out in public and not really give a damn what anyone thinks is symptomatic of someone with a very tenuous grasp of reality. And that's why he won't drop out (at least for now). He seriously thinks he's that important that New York can't do without him.