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The Senate Judiciary Committee is having a hearing today on gun violence and what to do about it.  Guess who's coming to the microphone.  If you guessed Wayne LaPierre of the NRA and Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of Gabby Giffords by golly all I can say is "Correctamundo!"

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre and Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who survived a shot to the head two years ago during an assassination attempt that left six people dead, are among those slated to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. One congressional source tells CBS News that Giffords herself is expected to attend the hearing; she is expected to accompany her husband and there are reports she will address the committee, although she's not officially scheduled to testify.

Will people heckle Wayne or Mark (or Gabby?) or both?  Will this hearing accomplish anything whatsoever to move the debate on reducing gun violence forward or will it be it prove to be merely more political theater for our daytime entertainment programming -- er, I mean able cable news shows?  I'd like to think we'll see a thoughtful discussion of gun violence in America, and ways to address that problem, but I'm not that naive.

Still, as the saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity.  I'm sure that's why Wayne is willing to testify.  His clients in the gun industry - er I mean Second Amendment supporters - must surely be hoping that proves true.  I don't know Senator Leahy's motives.  Ostensibly, he intends to use the hearing to promote gun control legislation in the Senate, but even if the Senate shows some gonads and actually passes a bill restricting assault weapons or banning high capacity magazines I doubt the GOP dominated House will ever allow a vote on such measures to come to the floor.  

I appreciate the efforts by the parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook, and others (Mark and Gabby, the victims of the Aurora shootings, etc.), to continue to push for reasonable measure to lessen the toll that gun violence takes on our society. Unlike the CEO of Goldman Sachs, they really are doing the "Lord's work" in taking a moral stand against the corrupt influence of the NRA and its relentless promotion of guns.

I suppose I should be happy that a hearing is being held at all, considering last year, after the Aurora massacre, Democrats in the Senate refused to hold any hearings whatsoever, much less campaign on the issue of stricter gun laws.  Still, it's a sad statement about our society that Wayne LaPierre, essentially a lobbyist for gun manufacturers, a man whose solution to the slaughter at Sandy Hook is to arm all teachers with Glocks, gets another platform to spout his absurd, yet dangerous, talking points about the need for more guns in our society, not less.

Meanwhile in real America, i.e., Wayne's World, a gunman shot a school bus driver dead yesterday and is currently holding a small child hostage.

A gunman shot and killed a school bus driver in Midland City, Ala., Tuesday afternoon and escaped the scene with a 6-year-old passenger, which has prompted a hostage situation that is still going on this morning.

The suspected gunman is identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 60-something military veteran, a police source told ABC News. Dykes and the child are in an underground bunker behind his home. [...]

"He shot the bus driver, and the driver's foot was on the gas and we went backwards. And everybody started screaming. And then the bus driver was still there and we all got off the bus and went to a neighbor's house," [a girl passenger of the bus] said.

Dykes was scheduled to be in court today for a trial related to charges of menacing, according to court records obtained by WDNH.

I'm sure Wayne will testify that the School Bus driver should have been armed.  Hell, Wayne probably believes the kids should have been armed.

Originally posted to Steven D on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 05:21 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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