I don’t know how close South Carolina 4th District Congressional Representative, Trey Gowdy, came to getting shot in the head, Sunday, September 9, around 8:30 PM, but by news accounts, it was damn close. A CZ 70 model .32-caliber pistol with 4 .32 caliber rounds therein, was inches from the congressman’s head. Had the holder of that firearm applied any pressure whatsoever to the trigger, Mr. Gowdy would have been the late Trey Gowdy.
Gowdy, as Politicus readers know, is a member of Darrell Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Reform. He is Issa’s point man in the Republican’s fervent attempts to destroy Attorney General, Eric Holder’s reputation and career. Gowdy was a House leader in getting a Republican Contempt of Congress vote against Holder. And the relentless pressure is continuing through the courts.
The aggressor in the near-shooting case is more to be pitied than censured. She’s a black lady, age 52; a graduate of the highly respected Converse women’s college and once worked as a chemist at Atlanta’s Coca Cola plant. She had bussed into the area from Atlanta to visit her mother. The gunwoman was hardly the stereotypical desperado that you would suspect would end someone’s life. A very cursory look into her background would seem to indicate that she had been troubled with mental health issues in recent years and the family was unsuccessful in convincing her to seek help.
In her apparent paranoia, she was convinced Gowdy was following her. When he lowered his car window after she tapped on it, she told the congressman to, “Quit following me.” He was, in fact, waiting for his daughter outside a Baptist Church. As the gun-wielder was accusing the congressman, she stuck the CZ 70 in his face. It’s a pistol manufactured in the Czech Republic, noted for its accuracy. She wouldn’t have missed.
Once Gowdy’s life passed in front of his eyes, he did what any self-respecting NRA-loving, macho congressman would have done. He floored it like SNL’s old “girlie-man” sketch and headed for City Hall and the nearest “government-funded” cop-shop with the lady giving chase on foot.
Like “The Voice” is a carbon copy of “American Idol”, this near-killing is a direct copy of what murder victims must have felt just before being shot by truly bad guys and in many other cases, people like this woman, a possessor of a troubled mind or an explosive emotional moment, a misunderstanding, family arguments, road rage, mistaken identity, a drunken flash of terrible judgment. In one recent day, a man was shot dead in a homeowners meeting, a New York police officer shot a man dead by mistake and an angry home-owner shot and wounded a golfer after an errant ball had hit his house – the options are endless as is the available supply of guns. The National Rifle Association shrugs off every last firearm killing in America for the sole reason that there’s nearly a quarter of a billion annually in it for the NRA’s lobbying of the indefensible.
Does no one else see the contradiction of Washington congressional gun-nuts, strutting around the DC K-Street range like rough-hewn Wild West cowboys, suckin’ on a Marlboro and cooking their vittles over an open flame while at the same time being led around by the nose by the NRA and their nerdy front man with the funny hair, the 63-year-old Wayne LaPierre?
Gowdy, as part of the Issa committee crowd, continually cites the tragic deaths of 2 government agency workers who were likely killed by guns that were part of the Fast and Furious program. He weeps political crocodile tears whenever a camera is pointed his way. What a horrible thing; killing another human being – and it’s all Eric Holder’s fault. I agree with Gowdy. It is a horrible thing to kill another human being. But don’t hang it on Holder.
Here are some sobering statistics about killing other human beings for Gowdy. The numbers come from a study at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. It’s an older study, going back to 2000, but I suspect later findings would be even worse.
In 2000, there were 10,801 gun homicides in the U.S. That same year, Japan recorded 22; the entirety of the European Union, 1,260 murders. And that’s not counting accidental shootings and suicides by firearms. The average American’s life span is shorter by 104 days because of gun violence. For the white male that number is 151 days, the average black man, loses 3 days short of a year thanks to guns. Updated 2010 records show the homicide count moderating, but still pushing 9,000. Gowdy’s home state of South Carolina is 3rd in murders per 100,000 population and is 2nd in the nation for aggravated assaults involving firearms.
I would estimate in the last 35 years or so, a million people have lost their lives to gun homicides, suicides and accidental shootings. A million people. Those are war numbers. Multiple major wars. It’s really like we’ve been fighting a war for many, many decades and something like 30,000 people are going to die in that war every year. We’re not even counting non-fatal gun injuries approaching 80,000 per annum. And the people who could cut those figures in half, or maybe up to 70 or 80% are scared shitless of one lobbying organization and gun owners are unwilling to give up even a fraction of their firearms because they’re that selfish and unfeeling. I’m waiting for a Gowdy crying jag over even one of those million people other than the obligatory media-driven one-day sadness over the Columbines, Aurora’s and numerous other mass murders of our era.
For you Romney “all life is business” people, do you know what those numbers do to your insurance premiums? Yep…that’s what they do.
As for any reform growing out of this case, not in a million years. The embarrassment of an NRA pet legislator (he bats away every anti-gun amendment in the House) being threatened by a gun is already buried in the deepest recesses of the media pit reserved for any possible criticism of the NRA. There is the benign follow-up of the defendant being released from jail to monitored house arrest at her mother’s residence after posting a $15,000 bail. She’ll likely be sentenced to jail with no psychiatric treatment. Gowdy will continue to get the top rating on his NRA congressional scorecard. Yes, the NRA scores congressional votes and those that don’t measure up find themselves with a multi-million dollar funded primary opponent next time around. The NRA joins the super-PACs and other mysterious funding sources in deciding who runs the country…not you.
That’s the way it is. That’s the way we allow it to be unless we GET OUT THE VOTE!