‘Maria, if I Take a Pencil and Stick It in Your Neck, That’s an Assault Weapon’
Former Arkansas Republican Governor Mike Huckabee defended the NRA and its members Sunday morning, insisting that no NRA member has ever been a mass shooter (that’s never been proven â€“ the NRA does not reveal its membership list) and going so far as to scoff at the term “assault weapon,” saying that even a pencil could be an assault weapon. And he went so far as to inject immigration into the discussion.
Huckabee displayed his vast ignorance of gun violence, wholly ignoring the fact that merely having a gun in the house greatly increases the possibility of gun violence and even death. He railed against those who wish to restrict the rights of gun owners, whom he described as “law abiding legal citizens who own firearms who have never committed a crime who have really no inclination to commit a crime, no predilection to commit a crime.”
(It’s unclear why Huckabee chose to mention the status of a person’s immigration, or why undocumented immigrants should enter the conversation.)
“Are we going to restrict them, or are we going to go after the people that we need to be worried about? People who have mental illness, people who have made threats?”
Huckabee also falsely claimed that the “old laws haven’t yet changed the course of human behavior.”
In reality, when the ban on semi-automatic weapons expired in 2004 and Republicans in Congress refused to renew it, gun deaths from those weapons spiked, as did mass shootings.
The ordained Baptist minister and twice-failed presidential candidate tried to blame gun violence on movies, ignoring that other countries have the same movies we do and no where near the same level of gun violence â€“ because they have no where near the same number of guns.
“There’s also a lot of misinformation about what an AR-15 is,” Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo interjected, claiming that “because one gun looks scary, people claim that it is military style.”
Huckabee agreed, saying “an AR-15 is really a matter of function â€“ it has nothing to do with its lethality,” which is effectively false. People may substitute the term AR-15 for the broader classification of semi-automatic more lethal than basic handguns or long guns.
“People call it an ‘assault weapon,'” Huckabee, frustrated, concluded. “Maria, if I take a pencil and stick it in your neck, that’s an assault weapon.”
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‘Basically Outlaws Responding to This Pandemic’: Texans Blast Abbott for New ‘Right to Infect’ Order
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is under fire after signing a wide-ranging COVID-19 executive order Thursday that bans any mask or vaccine mandates, bans anyone requesting or requiring proof of vaccination to obtain goods or services, but promotes “personal responsibility” as the means to control what is quickly becoming a new Delta variant-fueled wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the CDC Texas has had over 47,000 new COVID cases and 240 new COVID deaths in the past seven days, with a huge 15%-19.9% positivity rate. Since the start of the pandemic Texas has, under Governor Abbott’s leadership, seen nearly 3.1 million coronavirus cases and almost 52,000 deaths. Texas reports just 52% of its population 12 and older has been vaccinated.
Abbott’s executive order says, “There are no COVID-19-related operating limits for any business or other establishment,” and “no person may he required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering.”
“Texans are strongly encouraged as a matter of personal responsibility to consistently follow good hygiene, social-distancing. and other mitigation practices,” and vaccines “will never be mandated by the government,” although “it is strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one.”
The order also overrides and voids any “COVID-19-related limitations imposed by local governmental entities or officials.”
One local Texas NBC affiliate reports, “Abbott pushes personal responsibility over government mandates as pandemic surges.”
Here’s what some Texans are saying:
For months, Governor Abbott has been clear: He believes that everyone has the right to infect, but that our schools and local governments must be denied the right to take important steps to protect neighbors from infection.
— Lloyd Doggett (@RepLloydDoggett) July 29, 2021
What are Governor Abbott and Dan Patrick doing to get Texans vaccinated?
Everyday, they seem to be working overtime to thwart any effort to end this pandemic.
Texans are dying and our economy is suffering from the lack of vaccinations.
I just don’t get it. https://t.co/g5k7WquVoA
— Mike Collier (@CollierForTexas) July 29, 2021
Abbott already had taken away cities’ & counties’ ability to enact & enforce mask mandates
Now Abbott’s taken away the power to put restrictions on businesses, the other big tool he and local officials previously used to curb the spread of the virus
— Joshua Fechter 📝 (@JFreports) July 29, 2021
We’re going to do worse than nothing in TX. Cruz has already come out against masking and Abbott has done nothing helpful either as of late. They’re creating and fostering distrust. The distrust will lead to deaths 🙁
— Elizabeth – MS4 (@DrEToBe) July 29, 2021
“Texans have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent and avoid the spread of COVID-19”
YOU HAVE PROVEN YOU DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT TEXANS.@GregAbbott_TX bm
— Raziel McAllen (@razielmcallen) July 29, 2021
Greg Abbott out there slicing sandbags before the storm.
— Richard Whittaker (@YorkshireTX) July 29, 2021
Abbott: As hospitalization and positivity rates skyrocket, we can see that Texans have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Big lie 2.0.
— SB Jones (@sarahbjones) July 29, 2021
King Abbott has spoken- Texas… you’re on your own.
— genevieve (@genvc) July 29, 2021
Dozens of House Republicans Refusing to Wear Masks March to Senate Side for ‘Taste of Freedom’
After falsely blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the newly-announced mask mandate on the House side of Congress, dozens of Republicans Thursday afternoon engaged in a performative protest, not against the coronavirus but against efforts to end the pandemic. What appeared to be 50 or so House GOP lawmakers marched over to the Senate side of the Capitol Hill building for what one called a “taste of freedom.”
The Attending Physician of the United States Congress, following updated CDC guidance this week ordered anyone on the House side of the Capitol to wear a mask if in a group, regardless of vaccination status, but did not make the same order for the Senate side.
While Dr. Brian Monahan did not explain why the rules were different, at last cxount only about half of the Republicans on the House side have said they are vaccinated. Almost every Republican on the Senate side is. All Democrats on both sides are fully vaccinated. Dr. Monahan’s office announced fines and possible removal for repeat offenders.
Among those in the maskless pack making their way to the Senate side were Reps. Madison Cawthorn, Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Chip Roy.
Roll Call’s Chris Cioffi and The Hill’s Scott Wong posted video:
NOW: large maskless group of House GOP members has just crossed onto the Senate side and asked to enter the Senate Chamber. pic.twitter.com/gfmEAQMWbj
— Chris Cioffi (@ReporterCioffi) July 29, 2021
House Republicans are protesting the mask mandate by walking to the Senate, where masks are not mandated by Capitol physician pic.twitter.com/sFD6AVnbr3
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) July 29, 2021
GOP Massie: says the House GOP members are over here “for a taste of freedom.”
“You don’t have to wear a mask on the Senate side.”
Massie said they have the same attending physician, but he’s given different directives to each chamber.
Here’s video of them asking to enter. pic.twitter.com/A79S38d9UE
— Chris Cioffi (@ReporterCioffi) July 29, 2021
Far Right Republican Concocts Fundraising Scheme to Bail Out Mask Rule-Breakers — but the Cash Goes to His Campaign
Right-wing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is asking for donations so that he can pay for the fines for Congressional members and their staff who refuse to wear a mask in the Capitol. But when clicking the link to donate, it takes you to his campaign page.
Typical members of Congress are paid $174,000 annually, so it’s unclear why they would need donations to cover their own rule-breaking. Staffers certainly make much less, however, Washington, D.C. has mandated face masks in public places again. So, they would be in violation of the Capitol rules as well as D.C. rules. It’s unclear if their Republican members would be willing to pay their fees themselves if the staffer follows their boss’s lead.
While the Capitol has instituted fines, the Capitol Police released a statement that seemed like a veiled threat to those anti-maskers refusing to follow the rules.
“Regarding the House mask rule, there is no reason it should ever come to someone being arrested. Anyone who does not follow the rule will be asked to wear a mask or leave the premises. The Department’s requirement for officers to wear masks is for their health and safety,” said the statement.
See Cawthorn’s fundraising tweet below:
Cawthorn’s fundraising to bail out Republicans congressional staffers who won’t wear masks in the Capitol.
Background: Speaker Pelosi reinstated masks mandates earlier this week and now the mayor of DC has also. https://t.co/TLbLPPOUZx
— Kadia Goba (@kadiagoba) July 29, 2021
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