Senator Mike Lee of Utah, last seen in these pages getting defamation law completely wrong, is back. And you’ll never believe it, but he’s being a jackass about guns and drug laws so he and the brainless minions of the Right have an excuse to shout BUT BUT BUT HUNTER BIDEN IS A CRACKHEAD LAPTOP LAPTOP INSERT YOWLING NOISES LIKE A CAT WITH ITS TAIL CAUGHT IN A TREADMILL HERE.
Just look at this shit where Mike Lee piggybacks on some disingenuous horse hockey from Gun Owners for America, a group so hardcore on gun rights that it makes the National Rifle Association look like the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
We can think of one difference off the top of our heads, which is that Hunter Biden’s six-year-old son did not swipe Biden’s gun, take it to his school, and shoot and severely injure his first-grade teacher with it. Deja Taylor’s son did do that, and she is now awaiting trial on state child neglect and endangerment charges.
Taylor also pled guilty to lying on a federal form. When she bought her gun, she checked a box on a federal form swearing that she was not a regular user of drugs. This was a lie; she was a pretty heavy pot smoker, something that is legal for recreational purposes in Virginia now (Hallelujah!) but still illegal under federal law.
Hunter Biden checked the same box when he bought a gun some years back despite the fact that he was addicted to smoking crack at the time. In the plea deal he made with the Justice Department, he agreed to complete a diversion program to get the charge dismissed. Assuming a judge approves the deal and he successfully completes the program, he will serve no jail time.
Deja Taylor, meanwhile, faces 18 to 24 months in prison for essentially the same crime.
Now, we are all in favor of this woman not serving any jail time. Send her to a diversion program, send her to rehab, give her probation, whatever. Our prisons are full enough.
What bothers us is the Gun Owners of America, Mike Lee, and other politicians cynically using this case to advance its position that there should be no gun control in this country, while simultaneously joining the rest of the Right in beating the dead horse that is Hunter Biden in order to embarrass the president:
Because up until this happened, Mike Lee and Marsha Blackburn and the Gun Owners of America could not have given a single fuck about Deja Taylor. Here was this struggling Black woman with a son who had behavioral problems that were serious enough for him to have a specialized learning plan in his classroom when he may have needed stronger interdiction unavailable at his underfunded public school and his teacher who had a roomful of 25 other 6-year-olds who needed attention.
Could better funded schools have prevented this situation? How about mental health resources available to Deja Taylor’s son through her insurance or Medicaid, assuming she was even covered by either? How about the law that required her to keep the gun locked up and not just sitting on a high shelf in a closet where apparently her son could still get to it? That one? It’s a misdemeanor.
Nah, Mike Lee opposes all of that, as does the GOA because MUH FREEDOMZ SECOND AMENDMENT SHUT UP. Now this poor woman is caught up in circumstances made worse by his policies, by the GOA’s policies, and NOW they are suddenly concerned about the consequences?
So by all means, let’s rid the criminal code of these harsh punishments. Let’s reduce the carceral state. But until you are willing to address the entire megillah, you’re just grandstanding.