|Tim Scott, NRA politician|
First, the good news: South Carolina Senator, Jim DeMint recently announced that he would quit the Senate two years into his second term to run the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.
Now the high-arious news: Jim DeMint. Think tank.
Now, the bad news: Representative Tim Scott of South Carolina, who rode the Teabaggin' Train into Congress two years ago, was appointed by Teabaggin' Darlin', Gub-nah Nikki Haley, to succeed Jim DeMint in the United States Senate, an elevation that makes him the first black senator from the South since the late 19th century.
That could seem like good news. I mean, the first black Senator from the South in a hundred years is huge. But, Scott is a radically conservative Teabagger who will quite nicely fill the shoes of Demented when he leaves office.
Scott is one of those rising stars in the GOP, which is still stinging from the last election, and looking for a way to change its image in the wake of the nation’s rapidly changing demographics. But he really isn't anything new for the GOP and he's really nothing new for South Carolina.
In announcing her selection of Scott, Gub-nah Nikki called it an "historic day in South Carolina” and added that she chose Scott for his business vision and commitment to conservative principles. She emphasized her choice by saying, four times [!] that he "earned this seat.”
He's been in Congress less than two years. Oh Nikki, you are so transparent. But, this isn't about Nikki--she deserves her own special place in political hell for all sorts of other reasons, but this is about Tim Scott and who he is and what he says.
He served on the Charleston County Council for 13 years and in the South Carolina House for two years before he was elected to Congress; he says he has a different background than many of his future Senate colleagues in that he was raised by a single mother and called his a lost child who struggled with school and life until a Chick-fil-A franchise owner embraced him as a protégé and taught him conservative principles.
Uh-oh. Chick-fil-Anti-gay. I guess we all know how he stands on the rights of LGBT South Carolinians because when all that anti-gay stuff from Chick-fil-A-hole began making news, Tim Scott stayed silent. But, in light of what happened last week in Newtown, Connecticut, this is a far more frightening choice.
See, in his one term in Congress, and throughout his short time in South Carolina, Scott has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s strongest opponents of gun restrictions. On his campaign website, he proudly proclaims himself a “card-carrying NRA member” boasts of his strong support of the right to bear arms and promises to fight attempts to weaken gun rights “in any way.” In both words and deeds, Tim Scott has worked to advance an absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment:
- He wants to prevent law enforcement from tracking purchases of multiple large guns: Scott co-sponsored legislation this year—HR 3814—to specifically prevent gun dealers from informing law enforcement at the Department of Justice when an individual purchases multiple rifles or shotguns.
- He wants concealed-carry nearly nationwide: Scott co-sponsored a bill that would allow Americans to carry concealed firearms in nearly every state. Last year, Scott pushed the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, which would force nearly every state to follow other states’ concealed-carry laws. This would result in allowing nearly anyone to shop around for the one state that is willing to issue them a license to carry a concealed firearm, and then force other states to honor that license.
- He wants gun dealers to be able to sell across state lines: Scott co-sponsored legislation to allow gun dealers to sell weapons across state lines. Currently there are restrictions on the sale and trafficking of firearms across state lines, but Scott pushed a bill last year—the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act—to gut those protections.
- He believes guns should be exempted from bankruptcy: Scott co-sponsored legislation last year that would allow people who declare bankruptcy to exempt up to $3,000 in weapons from their list of assessable property. In Scott’s opinion, firearms are so sacrosanct that they shouldn’t be treated like regularly property.
- He called guns the “cornerstone of our democracy”: On his congressional website, Scott says that the right to own guns is a “cornerstone of our democracy.” He continues: “the federal government should never interfere with this right.”
- He wants to overrule local law and legalize weapons in DC: Scott co-sponsored a bill to take away the District of Columbia’s ability to determine for itself what its gun laws should be. This measure proposed to overrule DC’s laws, despite the city’s long history of sky-high murder and violent crime rates.
- He believes gun control is a joke. Interviewed by NRA News during the 2012 campaign, he defended South Carolina’s strong tradition of supporting the Second Amendment and endorsed Rick Perry’s “use both hands” approach to gun control. This referred back to a 2011 town hall event he hosted with Texas Governor Perry, where he laughed while asking the presidential hopeful if he supported gun control. Perry jokingly responded, “I’m for gun control, use both hands.”
That’s Tim Scott.
Conservatism is fine. Fiscal responsibility is fine. Anti-gay? Yeah, for me, not so fine. But it’s his stance on guns, gun purchasing, the right to carry concealed weapons, and his “jokes” about guns that make Tim Scott stupid and dangerous.
I sincerely hope that the people of South Carolina, who I know love their guns, will see Tim Scott for what he is: an employee of the NRA who will do whatever they want him to do, and ignore the will of the people.