Under Oath

I always thought that testimony under oath was supposed to be true.  I always thought that if one did not tell the truth, that constituted a criminal offense.  Perjury is what they call it.  Hmmm.

Yesterday before a Senate subcommittee, testimony was taken over the subject of gun controls.  Assault rifles, large capacity clips, and universal background checks were front and center.

One women testified that a six bullet clip would not make a mother feel comfortable, for herself and her three children, if 4 armed men were invading her house.  Give me a break.  Who would feel comfortable?  And just how many mothers would engage in gun fire with children easy targets for stray bullets?

Senator Lindsay Graham (apparently campaigning for reelection) claimed that 6 rounds would not be enough (in some cases) to deter an intruder.  Apparently the 7th or 8th shot would do the trick.

NRA CEO, Wayne LaPierre, replied to the question on universal background checks, flat out, he said, would not work.  Criminals don’t pay attention to laws, La Pierre said.  Duh, then why do we have laws?  And what’s the purpose of police forces?  LaPierre’s assertion was that since the law already existed where gun dealers must conduct a background check before selling a fire arm, that’s ok.  But he saw no need for anyone else being required to conduct background checks.

Technically, each of these witnesses did not commit perjury if they actually believed what they were saying, no matter how far fetched or demonstrably irrelevant.  They were answering a specific question and not the greater issue of how does the country reduce the amount of gun violence while protecting 2nd Amendment rights.

It is part of our democracy that elected officials demagogue an issue, and citizens who testify can represent narrow points of view.  On the surface, background checks should apply to all, or they are not needed at all.

Suppose someone planted “Claymore mines” around the perimeter of their home, and when an intruder tried to gain entry, the mines exploded injuring or killing neighbors who lived next door?  It seems reasonable that each of us has a right to protect ourselves with deadly force, but if that force injures someone else, that is not a right we enjoy.

We cannot take too seriously the charade going on in Congress.  For Graham it is about getting reelected.  For LaPierre, it is about keeping a well paying job.  And for the rest in Congress, it is just going through the motions.

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