Today’s stunning announcement by House Speaker John Boehner that he will step down at the end of October comes about three months after he explained to a reporter why the House Appropriations Committee voted to block funding for “gun violence prevention” research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As quoted by Mother Jones, Boehner observed, “Listen, the CDC is there to look at diseases that need to be dealt with to protect the public health. I’m sorry, but a gun is not a disease. And guns don’t kill people; people do.”
Boehner didn’t stop there. He added this perspective: “And when people use weapons in a horrible way, we should condemn the actions of the individual, not blame the action on some weapon.
“Listen,” he said, “there are hundreds of millions of weapons in America. They’re there. And they’re going to be there. They’re protected under the Second Amendment. But people who use weapons in an inappropriate or illegal way ought to be dealt with severely.”
That’s the kind of matter-of-fact logic that the gun prohibition lobby hates. In retrospect, maybe if Boehner had been equally as blunt in all of his dealings with the Obama administration, regardless the subject, things might have been different.
Boehner’s announcement has set off a wave of bashing on social media. Facebook, for example, has been loaded with images of the Speaker in tears on various occasions. Many people are not sorry about his announcement, and there’s lots of cheering.
Ironically, there is an on-line petition circulating, calling for the removal of Boehner as speaker, and replacing him with South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy. While that might be a flattering suggestion, some of the wording in this petition might cause Gowdy to wonder just what people think of him.
“We understand that Mr. Boehner is a very nice person and that is exactly why we make this request,” the petition says. “We need a Leader, not a Friend.”
Whoever succeeds Boehner, the Second Amendment community will certainly want someone unwilling to back down on the gun rights issue. Many people believe there should have been indictments, or at least very public firings, over Fast and Furious, and Operation Fearless. That was out of Congress’ hands.
But recall that under Boehner, Eric Holder became the first attorney general to ever be held in contempt of Congress. That’s not something most people would want on their resume.
Boehner’s resignation came one day after the unprecedented address to Congress by Pope Francis, during which the speaker wept. Perhaps he figured that nothing could top that, and it was time to leave.
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