Today, while speaking for his wife, Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly unsurprisingly expressed frustration regarding yesterday’s outcome. In what has become utter cliché, Kelly once again blamed the “gun lobby” for “fear mongering” and vowed to continue the attack on gun ownership in America.
Interestingly though, it was not that part of his rant that is surprising. Indeed, we have come to expect this sort of emotional backlash from gun control advocates any time they do not get their way. The troubling part of his commentary came when he said, “It’s a target rich environment after yesterday” to describe his group’s plan of attack against those who didn’t vote in the direction he had hoped.
Now, lets step back a couple of years and think about the incident involving the shooting in Tucson. First, as we well know, the laws Kelly is pushing for wouldn’t have prevented that shooting, or any other recent incidents for that matter. He once again misses the point by failing to address the real mental health issue that continues to trouble our society. More troubling though is the apparent double standard such comments seem to confirm. Back around the time of the shooting, Sarah Palin was blasted for having crosshairs on Arizona in an image outlining potentially contentious congressional districts, including Giffords’. Though this was done prior to the shooting, Palin was attacked by various media outlets for her perceived threat to Giffords. Though Palin certainly did and said some things that probably didn’t endear her to the nation as a whole, such attacks against her were unreasonably severe. Now, we see Kelly claiming that the Senate is a “target rich environment”. To criticize Palin for her graphic while condoning Kelly’s statement is hypocritical at best, especially given what his wife went through.