In the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others in Arizona this weekend, Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Heath Shuler (D-NC) say that they will carry firearms when in their home districts.
“You never think something like this will happen, but then it does,” Shuler told Politico “After the elections, I let my guard down. Now I know I need to have [my gun] on me. We’re going to need to do a much better job of with security at these events.”
According to Politico, each lawmakers holds a conceal and carry permit, and Shuler is encouraging his staffers to get their own.
Chaffetz also suggested U.S. Marshalls should guard members during events.
“Perhaps they could better assess threats in the home district,” he said. “It certainly ought to be on the table.”
Chaffetz added that he may ask local police to attend his town halls more often. Neither lawmaker plans to carry a weapon while in Washington DC.
I like the idea of self-reliance coming from two civil servants. I hope they are as adamant about the rights of their constituents to personal safety as they are for themselves. Moreover, I hope they don’t see this as an us vs. them dilemma where they have to protect themselves from the voters, only from the criminals among them. I take note of the bipartisanship in this initiative and hope it’s catching in more ways than one. I like this senator’s approach to the issue of personal safety and wish more thought like him.
An Egyptian church was attacked at the start of the new year and scores of people were killed. That incident was highlighted prominently by worldwide mainstream media and it brought out the usual Islamophobes, including the president of France, who lamented the supposed ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Christians from the Middle East. The irony of such remarks coming from a president of France who wants to condemn to failure the appearance of Islam in France is blatantly hypocritical to say the least. But what you haven’t seen or perhaps heard much of is the response of Egyptians to this attack and in light of the Islamophobic drenched atmosphere it might surprise you.
Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.
In the days following the brutal attack on Saints Church in Alexandria, which left 21 dead on New Year’ eve, solidarity between Muslims and Copts has seen an unprecedented peak. Millions of Egyptians changed their Facebook profile pictures to the image of a cross within a crescent – the symbol of an “Egypt for All”. Around the city, banners went up calling for unity, and depicting mosques and churches, crosses and crescents, together as one.
The blogsphere picked up on this show of solidarity but main stream media chose to ignore it, although they covered the deaths of Egypt’s Christians rather extensively. Perhaps that’s why Sarkozy reacted so impetuously to the tragedy; he should read more than his government controlled press. It should be noted that the terrorist attack on Egypt’s Christians was roundly condemned by most major Muslim organizations and leaders.
Western pundits are trying to determine how to stop the spread of Islam in their borders. Surely, stemming the tide of immigration can do that, or so they say, but what do they do about the number of citizens in the country who convert to Islam and become Muslims? That is the dilemma for Islamophobes and the reason why they have increased their rhetoric, to include talk about companies that offer choices to consumers as somehow abetting terrorism, or ballot initiatives that are unconstitutional, in order to demonize not just Muslims who we envision as being foreign evil, looking hostile types but people who look just like you or me or are members of our own families. Indeed, look at the headline of this article, which seems to suggest at first glance an invasion of Britain by Muslims but which merely points out that people are adopting this faith, by choice, inspite of all that’s being said and done to get them to do otherwise.
What western democracies want to do and for now can’t, is restrict the choice it offers its citizens to live their lives. In some ways, France has already done that for Muslim women, making the scarf in public schools and some jobs, or certain swim wear at public pools and beaches illegal and in the process France has become a secular, un-democratic society. In order to continue such draconian measures, propagandists in conjunction with circles inside government are launching the ‘demonization campaign’ to make Islam as unpalatable as possible to the population, and if that doesn’t work then institute laws much like France’s to make it illegal to practice Islam. In the not too distant future it won’t be long before these western “democracies” become communist countries in all but name just to stop the appearance of Islam on their shores, and most likely that will be completely acceptable to all but the adherents of the faith.
Rudy Giuliani, Tom Ridge, former White House adviser Frances Townsend and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, flew to Paris to speak in support of an Iranian exile group there — one that’s been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and that very act of appearing before such a group is a felony under US law. What’s amazing is Mukasey and Ridge, former Bush appointees in high cabinet level posts should have known that yet completely disregarded the illegality of their act. That it is illegal is clearly established by the US Departments of State and Justice and material support has been even more narrowly defined to include ‘not only cash and other tangible aid, but also speech coordinated with a “foreign terrorist organization” for its benefit’. A former presidential candidate, and secretaries of Homeland Security and Justice Department took a trip to Paris to address an organization on the US Dept of State’s terrorist list, and in doing so committed a felony and you don’t think for a minute they didn’t have the approval of the current administration? How can one account for the fact that these individuals have not been indicted for clear criminal behavior were they not acting on behalf of the Obama Administration? Once again, we have the spectre of a US administration walking back on laws it has either signed on or weighed in in a manner reminiscent of the Bush administration with the result that it could have deleterious effects on American interests before the international court of opinion.