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Hey, get a load of this!

That’s Congressman Thomas Massie (R)(Kentucky), wishing you a very merry, jolly old Yuletide – it’s just a couple of days after yet another gun slaughter at yet another school, and this is the Christmas card Tommy sends around to the MAGA faithful. Santa, please bring ammo. Hyuk! That’s not tone deaf. That’s deliberate trolling. Buddy really knows his weapons though, the kids in the back row are showing off three different kinds of assault rifle (two ARs, an HK and an FN), Mom has a Tommy Gun – a venerable weapon, good for you, Mother – and the youngest daughter is cradling an Uzi, which looks almost dainty in this context, but which, as everybody who’s watched the first Terminator film can tell you, is great for home defence. Meanwhile, the Congressman plainly decided to stop screwing around, and opted for an M60 machine gun. I kind of did a double-take at that, because listen, the M60 first became famous with the NRA crowd for tipping the balance during hellatious firefights in ’Nam, and it’s a serious, serious, machine gun, maybe not as nasty as a .50 calibre Ma Deuce, but nasty, good for 10 rounds a second out to about 1000 yards, and fireable from the shoulder if need be. A real buzz saw. In country, the grunts called it “the pig”. I was almost positive that it’s illegal to own one, no matter what State you live in, but I looked it up, and it’s complicated; anyway, long story short, that thing might be real. He might actually have himself a functioning M60 there (which I guess would explain the plea for more ammo, those things go through belts and belts of the stuff in no time).

Sane conservative Charlie Sykes of The Bulwark scandalized MSNBC viewers on Sunday with the simple truth that Massie’s Christmas in Armageddon photo-shoot amounted, essentially, to nothing more than the firearms fetishist’s version of a “dick pic”, a comment for which he quite rightly refuses to apologize. Such stuff doesn’t bother Massie, though. When somebody more politely accused him of “tunnelling beneath the bar of good taste”, he fired right back that “the BAR is under the couch”, which is funnier if you’re his sort of guy, and know that BAR stands for Browning Automatic Rifle, which is actually the infantry weapon that the M-60 replaced in US Army service:

It’s under the couch! Har-dee-har, and guffaw.

Not that it isn’t kind of funny, the rank stupidity of it all, but the malicious glee with which these politicians are projecting outright menace is starting to quell the laughter. It sort of snuck up on us, didn’t it, how Trump utterly normalized the idea of violence as a legitimate means of achieving political ends in a free and open society? Not that The Donald invented gun-nuttery, of course, and not that politicians hadn’t been fully coopted by the NRA long before Trump hit the scene, but still. When did this become ordinary?

I mean, that’s not the cover of the Guns and Ammo Swimsuit Edition. That’s a Member of Congress (and friends)! So’s this:

And this guy – why, that’s Ted Cruz!!

Say, Tommy, Ted’s doing you one better, buddy! That’s an M-249 “SAW”, the Squad Automatic Weapon that replaced your big-swinging-dick M-60 in US Army service! The BAR’s under the couch? Big deal! Ted’s got a SAW!

Guess you’re allowed to own those things too.

In America, the reasonable opposing viewpoint stresses “responsible gun ownership”, which, in a nation blighted by the Second Amendment, represents a sort of floor that can’t be undermined, even though it sounds a lot to me like “clean coal”. Behold the modern Republican conception of decent, law-abiding citizens exercising their God-given right to bear arms in a responsible fashion, just like the guys in the tri-corn hats intended. We’ve reached the point at which mainstream GOP politicians are waving heavy weapons in our faces, sniggering, and all but saying that they’ll frickin’ well kill whoever they have to in the fight to preserve White minority rule. That’s where we are.

Which is just one facet of a much bigger campaign now being fought on several fronts. We’re losing.

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