Liberal talk-show host Rachel Maddow used Idaho and the strange case of Boise GOP Rep. Mark Patterson to decry a generational change in national policy on guns.
Maddow chose Patterson for her lead segment Wednesday night, calling the story the most bizarre news of the day. After lightly touching on the poor record of signups in the opening month of the health insurance exchanges, Maddow quickly moved on to 12 minutes on Patterson. (Scroll to bottom of story to watch Maddow's segment on Patterson)
Maddow carefully went through the details of Patterson having been stripped of his concealed weapons license by Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney for Patterson's failure to disclose he had a disqualifying record: a 1974 felony guilty plea for assault with intent to commit rape.
Boise has to be mortified by this guy, said Maddow. In any normal world this is the time where the guy steps down to spend more time with his family.
Instead, Maddow recounted how Patterson has assailed Raney for targeting him over a failed gun rights bill. This whole ruckus now is just The Man coming for his guns in retaliation, Maddow said in describing Patterson's response.
Maddow then showed video of President Ronald Reagan, who was shot in 1981 and in 1988 signed the Undetectable Firearms Act. The law expires next month. She also showed an ad pressing Congress to extend Brady Bill background checks to all gun sales.
Maddow incredulously explained how Patterson, as one of more than 3,000 elected officials in Idaho, can continue to carry a concealed weapon without a permit because the 1990 Legislature exempted them from the licensing requirement. (She didnt mention that Patterson has lost the right to carry in 29 states that have reciprocity agreements with Idaho.)
Do you want to know how this story ends? she said. The guy gets to keep his guns!
And so, when aliens come to Earth, who are we going to pick to explain to them what happened to the oldest and most stable democracy on the Earth? That once upon a time even conservatives in that country supported an outright ban on certain dangerous kinds of weapons. And even conservatives supported at least checking to see if people were, say, violent felons, before agreeing to let them have guns. Once upon a time, everybody pretty much agreed that made sense.
But then within one generation of that normalcy in one generation, in less than 30 years this country became the place where the response, by law, to the violent attempted rapist elected official who lied about it and who got caught lying about it, the only legal response to that man is: Sorry sir, heres your gun. Heres your gun, sir. Heres you concealed weapons permit. Were sorry for the inconvenience.
Concluded Maddow: How can this possibly be?
NOTE: Maddows summary of the facts regarding Patterson erred in one significant way, attributing reporting by John Miller of the Associated Press to Boise NBC affiliate KTVB. Miller reported last year that Pattersons campaign website falsely claimed he attended the University of Southern California and was a petroleum engineer. KTVB, as an AP member, republished Millers work.