‘Joe The Plumber': Dead Kids Don’t Trump My Right To Own Guns
Samuel Wurzelbacher, who became famous in conservative circles as “Joe The Plumber” during the 2008 Presidential campaign, had what may well be the most offensive reaction to the massacre at U.C.-Santa Barbara that I’ve seen to date:
Samuel Wurzelbacher gave his condolences this week to the families of the victims of the mass shooting near the University of California, Santa Barbara. But no tragedy is going to stop “Joe The Plumber” from defending the Second Amendment.
In an open letter published Tuesday on the website Barbwire, Wurzelbacher went out of his way to explain to the victims’ parents that the deaths won’t undermine his “Constitutional rights.”
“I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now,” wrote Wurzelbacher, who became something of a mascot for John McCain’s failed 2008 presidential campaign. “But: As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”
Wurzelbacher singled out Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was one of the six students killed by Elliot Rodger in Isla Vista, Calif. Since the deadly rampage, Martinez has twice railedagainst politicians and the National Rifle Association for the failure to pass new gun laws after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
“There are no critical words for a grieving father. He can say whatever he wants and blame whoever he’d like – it’s okay by me. You can’t take a step in his shoes – at least I can’t,” Wurzelbacher wrote. “But the words and images of Mr. Martinez blaming ‘the proliferation of guns’, lobbyists, politicians, etc.; will be exploited by gun-grab extremists as are all tragedies involving gun violence and the mentally ill by the anti-Second Amendment Left.”
Dude, you should have just gone with “The are no critical words for a grieving father.” Then you would have saved yourself from being revealed as a cold, insensitive jerk.
Update: Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice has this to say about Wurzelbacher:
Samuel Wurzelbacher, the “Joe the Plumber” mascot of Republican Sen. John McCain’s failed 2008 Presidential bid, offered ostensible condolences to the grieving families, but just couldn’t help himself from swiping at devastated parent Richard Martinez. Shortly after learning that his 20-year-old son Christopher was shot dead by Rodger at a convenience store, Martinez blasted the National Rifle Association and called Congress’ politicians “rudderless idiots” for not acting on gun control after the December 12, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, in whichÂ 20 children and six adult staffers died.
“Joe the Plumber” apparently fell into a septic tank, because the stench of Wurzelbacher’s words could be smelled for miles: “I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now, ” he said to cushion his coming blow. “But: As harsh as this sounds — your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”
Wurzelbacher thus joined the parade of Republicans seemingly racing to distance themselves from anything resembling “compassionate” conservatism — even when faced with the unspeakable grief of a father who suddenly lost his son and best friend. How have we gotten to a point where ideologists and partisans are so imprinted that they can’t even let a parent grieve but must immediately lash out and try to discredit him? FYI: Martinez never called for a total BAN on guns. Just safeguards.
Of course, one can disagree with Martinez on policy without being a complete jerk about it the way Wurzelbacher was. The one good thing I can report is that I’ve seen many people on the right distance themselves from Joe The Plumber over this. Perhaps it will teach them a lesson.
Oh, who am I kidding?