Hot Air: Bye-bye, Sugar Daddies

Lots of folks are starting to think we’re now going to make sure lunatics can’t get their mitts on war weapons. The El Paso and Dayton slaughters, they reason, are two too many. This holy land, the reasoning goes, has reached its limit and we’re all about to get sane re: guns.

Republicans, generally the most rabid of 2nd Amendment zealots, one by one are beginning to utter rhetoric heretofore reserved only for gun control advocates. Hell, even the current occupant of the White House is calling for more stringent background checks, for pity’s sake.

Things are changing, it’s said, because we’ve had enough.

As usual, the conventional wisdom is…, well, full of shit.

The rational among us for eons have been screaming and holding our collective breath for reasonable restrictions on the availability of automatic weapons and the ability of hate-mongers and the mentally whacked-out to purchase them as easily as copping a new set of Michelins. We long have supposed the reason promiscuous trigger-pullers are given carte blanche hereabouts is that a majority of the public wants unrestricted access to shootin’ irons.

That’s never been true. Poll after poll through the years — through the decades — indicate most of us have wanted and continue to want real regulations on the buying and selling of homicide hardware. We haven’t changed through the years. Something else has.

That’s the NRA. Over the past year or two, the gun manufacturing industry’s heavy lifter has been beset by scandal. There’ve been infighting at the top, revelations that certain NRA officials have been looting the group’s coffers for personal gain, and a subsequent significant drop-off in fundraising. Suddenly, the NRA has become something to shrink from. Politicians who’ve sucked up to the NRA every election cycle now find that money tree drying up.

Consequently, erstwhile dependable congressbeings and statehouse lizards are becoming more normal when it comes to firearms legislation. Normal being the rest of us who haven’t been paid scads of dough by Smith & Wesson and/or Remington Outdoor via the Nat’l Killing Ass’n to do their murderous bidding.


Didja miss this past week’s Big Talk? Don’t sweat it. Here’s the podcast of my interview with musician and goodwill ambassador Travis Puntarelli:

TP is an oft-roving minstrel who for the nonce has put down roots once again here in his hometown of Bloomington. A high school dropout who went on to study tons of things at Indiana U., he’s traveled this land from s. to shining s., co-busking w/ other troubadours and balladeers. In fact, the latter is now the sorta-name of his latest aggregation of music-makers: The Balladirs, more info on which to be found here.

BTW: One of our town’s other street musicians and an overall peculiar* character himself (* in the most complimentary sense), Marc Haggerty, who’s long harbored the biggest of big boy crushes on TP, describes the object of his adulation as a lyricist and songwriter to rival none other than Nobel Prize-winner Bob Dylan.

Puntarelli (screengrab from the documentary by Maya Piper, click for full video)

Such is the width and breadth of the aura that surrounds one Travis Puntarelli. Listen for yourself above or here.

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