As everyone knows, California Rep. Darrell Issa is spearheading a resolution citing Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress over documents sought about the botched “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking operation, in which about 2,000 guns purchased from border state gun shops were allowed to “walk” into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels in a misguided effort to get at the higher-ups in the cartels’ gun trafficking operations.
Even apart from the silence of Republican leaders about the Bush Justice Department’s use of similarly flawed “gun walking” tactics, this Congressional investigation wreaks of hypocrisy. Here's a few things we should remember about Darrell Issa:
- He co-sponsored a bill (HR 822) to gut state laws on carrying concealed weapons in public, stripping police in states like New York and California of their discretion over who carries guns in public. This “race to the bottom” federal legislation would allow violent, dangerous, mentally or emotionally unstable people to carry loaded hidden handguns in public in states across the country. It would put innocent people at risk of being killed or injured, intentionally and unintentionally.
- During the debate on HR 822, Rep. Issa voted "nay" to prohibit people convicted of assaulting or impersonating a law enforcement officer from being able to carry concealed guns across the country (Amendment 8).
- During the debate on HR 822, Rep. Issa voted "nay" to prohibit people convicted of selling a controlled substance to a minor (drug dealers) from being able to carry concealed guns across the country (Amendment 9).
- A 1972 incident report from the Adrian, Michigan, police department describes the nineteen-year-old Issa's arrest for carrying a concealed weapon. A police officer found a .25-calibre Colt automatic, forty-four rounds of ammunition, and a tear-gas gun inside the glove compartment of Issa's car. Issa later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of possession of an unregistered gun. Issa told the press that the gun and the car belonged to his older brother, William, and that he did not know the gun was in the glove compartment. The police report, however, says that Issa told the police he needed the weapon to protect his car from theft.
In unrelated news, overtaxed property owner and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is buying the Hawaiian Island of Lana'i (well, 98% of the island). Envy and jealousy, according to Matthieu Ricard, stem from the fundamental inability to rejoice at someone else's happiness or success. But as I suspect that this purchase has very little to do with happiness, my reaction is similarly removed form envy.