Rowdy, Ignorant Bunch
“People who own guns feel so threatened; they think their guns are going to be taken away from them; it’s a bunch of bologna,” said Jeannette Bartelt on her way out of the Urbana Regional Library Saturday. She was quoted in a front-page story in The Frederick News-Post.
Sens. Ron Young and Brian Frosh accepted the invitation offered by Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence and Organizing for Action, as I would have. They were there to discuss the law “to create a handgun licensing system, limit magazines to 10 rounds and ban assault rifles,” News-Post writer Cara R. Anthony reported. “It also includes provisions to keep firearms from the mentally ill.”
The Democratic legislators lasted about an hour before the crowd, mostly GOP members, turned into a rowdy bunch; they exited, joined by Ms. Bartelt who added: “The energy there is so negative.”
Frederick’s Republican Central Committee Chairman Steve Gottlieb said: “People realize that their rights are in danger. People are waking up. I think people are scared, I think they are afraid of the overreach of government, and they want to make their voices heard.”
Both state senators attempted to assure the audience that no bills or laws will take away their favorite “shooting iron.” Their Second Amendment rights are in no way threatened.
Accompanying GOP Chairman Gottlieb was Darren Wigfield, a member of the Frederick Campaign for Liberty; he was quoted: “I think when you have a crowd of mixed political ideologies, you are going to have people getting into shouting matches, but I think it aggravated people a lot that this event was advertised from 10 to noon and both senators left at 11.”
“Mr. Gottlieb said he would have liked the forum ‘to be a little calmer,’ but he understood the emotion expressed during Saturday’s event,” Ms. Anthony wrote.
In essence, Sens. Young and Frosh were bushwhacked; they showed up to answer questions, instead they were yelled at by groups that would never vote for them. These were people who cannot be reasoned with; they react hysterically to anything said. From the reports, the crowd appeared to be gun nuts, tinged heavily by Republicans.
In recent TheTentacle.com columns, I have written about the dwindling GOP, which the Urbana Library incident fuels. The House of Representatives, under Speaker John Boehner (R., OH), has relaxed the policy known as sequestration – mandatory spending cuts – to let the Federal Aviation Administration un-furlough air traffic controllers. It’s a game of chicken, which the GOP is doomed to lose.
Anyway, Maryland is so overwhelmingly Democratic and that enabled Republicans to lose Maryland’s Congressional Sixth District. When I moved here 30 years ago, this was a rural county ruled over by conservative Democrats who became mostly Republicans. The state grew a little over 10 percent as Frederick was shooting up three times that rate. As former city people, for the most part, newcomers don’t regard firearms unmentionably sacred and holy. They import their own experiences. More educated than the former population, they are not so emotional.