Mid-afternoon, February 16, 2016, GOP Presidential hopeful, George Bush, dropped this little Tweet.
It's directed, of course, at South Carolina where currently 30% of Bush's followers support a compete ban on all Muslims and 35% favor keeping a data-base on them. Fifty percent support the Confederate flag and 30% wish the South had won the Civil War even if they couldn't tell you when it occurred (source). South Carolina gets an "F" ranking in their gun policies from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, so I understand why Bush would direct such a Tweet at the citizens of this state.
Some of their citizens obviously love guns (however irresponsibly they do so), they want guns everywhere, and they want them unrestricted, from .50 caliber down to the lowly .22. These are the citizens that Bush hopes will vote for him—those that support discrimination against Muslims and historical revisionism regarding the war that divided our country in the 19th century, and apparently still divides the citizens of South Carolina. After all, a vote is a vote.
But when I saw this Tweet, even I, who have spent a lot of time reading aggressive Tweets, was shocked: Have we come to a juncture in American history where a former governor of a state can have his name engraved on the barrel of a sidearm and braggingly—to my ears—picture the weapon with the one word caption, "America?"
A word that to most Americans means many more things than a firearm, and to just as many would not include this particular image at all. How about the Statue of Liberty? No, that would imply those huddled masses and immigration. How about amber waves of grain? No, that's a threat to the oil industry and corn's a problem too, amber or not, grain or not.
So I guess Bush's advisors thought that for South Carolinians, the ones that Bush hopes to attract, the gun's the thing.
Obviously, though, we have come to this divisive juncture. That Tweet, after all, just happened. And just as obviously we must realize that such aggressive tactics, while hardly confined to this candidate, or to this party, are particularly odious because they appeal to a demographic that looks no further into the future than the end of their gun-barrel allows.
That is a dangerous inclination, and for Bush to encourage it is reprehensible. Responsible gun-ownership is one thing; but this kind of braggadocio behavior with firearms must be pointed out and resisted. It is unconscionable.