Joe the Plumber’s Letter to Parents of Dead Kids

article-2457291-18B5436000000578-623_634x403Joe the Plumber, who is not a licensed plumber, and whose name is actually Samuel Wurzelbacher, wrote an open letter for Barbwire, Matt Barber‘s new hate-filled website. As you may recall, Joe the Plumber leaped into the public spotlight during the 2008 presidential election, and was branded a middle class hero by the right wing. He runs his very own website, and he was super good friends with grifter and half-governor Sarah Palin. Mr. Plumber also loves the Constitution…well, the right wing version, ‘Merikuh, and of course, guns. In fact, he loves guns so much that he wrote this in his Barbwire letter:

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. But:
As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.

Take as much time as you need to try and process that. Now, buckle up, because I am not going mince words.

This is what they believe, the gun extremists. Dead kids don’t “trump” their Constitutional rights. Nothing does. No amount of pain, no amount of bloodshed, no amount of anguish. All that matters is what they believe: the Second Amendment protects their right to own whatever they want, however many they want, and no fucking dead children are going to get in the way of that. Except they’re wrong about the Second Amendment, and about the framers’ intent.

Joe Nocera, writing in Monday’s New York Times, uses details and excerpts from Michael Waldman’s book, “The Second Amendment: A Biography,” to point out the history behind one of the most misconstrued parts of the Constitution. What we learn in Nocera’s piece, and from Waldman’s book is:

Thus the unsurprising discovery: Virtually every reference to “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” — the second part of the Second Amendment — was in reference to military defense. Waldman notes the House debate over the Second Amendment in the summer of 1789: “Twelve congressmen joined the debate. None mentioned a private right to bear arms for self-defense, hunting or for any purpose other than joining the militia.”

Military defense. Not Chipotle defense, not FEMA camp defense, not unarmed teenager carrying an iced tea and a pack of Skittles defense. Military. So when, exactly, did gun extremists hijack the Second Amendment? From Nocera’s article:

But then, in 1977, there was a coup at the National Rifle Association, which was taken over by Second Amendment fundamentalists. Over the course of the next 30 years, they set out to do nothing less than change the meaning of the Second Amendment, so that its final phrase — “shall not be infringed” — referred to an individual right to keep and bear arms, rather than a collective right for the common defense.

Remember, in 1903, Congress signed into law the Militia Act, which federalized the National Guard. It made the Militia Act of 1792 obsolete by putting state militia groups under one umbrella-the National Guard, and the common defense was entrusted to them. Which means the original intent of the Second Amendment is no longer applicable.

Well, what’s a gun extremist and political opportunist like Joe the Plumber to do? If we have the National Guard, and we no longer need state militia groups, what the hell does the Second Amendment mean? The NRA took care of that, thank you very much, by trumpeting “shall not be infringed” at the top of their lungs. Have you noticed gun extremists never mention the “well-regulated” part?

Nocera goes on to share what Waldman, and many others, believe is the event in our time that really changed everything:

The critical modern event, however, was the Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller decision, which tossed aside two centuries of settled law, and ruled that a gun-control law in Washington, D.C., was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. The author of the majority opinion was Antonin Scalia, who fancies himself the leading ‘originalist’ on the court — meaning he believes, as Waldman puts it, ‘that the only legitimate way to interpret the Constitution is to ask what the framers and their generation intended in 1789.’

The NRA co-opted the Second Amendment to pacify their gun extremist members. The Supreme Court ruled a gun-control law was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. And now, we have groups like Open Carry Texas meandering into restaurants, armed to the gills. All of which feeds the NRA and their primary source of revenue: gun manufacturers.

So, here’s my open paragraph to Joe the Plumber. You are a hateful sociopath, who, like your former BFF, Grifter Palin, cannot stand being out of the public eye for very long. Yes, a sociopath. Sociopaths pretend to have empathy, but at their core, they don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone other than themselves. Your letter to those grieving families was something one would find in the journal of a serial killer. ‘Gosh, I’m sorry your kid’s dead, but that doesn’t trump my right to kill, maim, harm, terrorize, and threaten.’ Because, Joe the Plumber, that’s all gun extremists want to do. You’re not a rational gun owner, who hunts to feed his family, or target shoots for sport, or has one gun for self-defense. You and your ilk are of the David Barton school of thought: there should be no limits on the Second Amendment.

Guess what, you evil, heartless bastard? Dead children do trump the Constitution, especially when you and the NRA and the rest of the gun extremists have twisted the framers’ original intent. Richard Martinez is absolutely right when he says too many have died. And you are absolutely wrong when you say that doesn’t matter.


Erin Nanasi

Erin Nanasi is the creator of The Bachmann Diaries: Satirical Excerpts from Michele Bachmann's Fictional Diary. She hates writing about herself in the third person. Erin enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family. And wombats. Come visit Erin on on Facebook. She also can be found on Twitter at @WriterENanasi.

Comments

Facebook comments

  • Selina Grissom

    YEAH!! What Erin said!! I f’ing hate these damn gun nuts that have taken this country hostage…and held it at gun point for far too long…these fools actually think they’re going to take on the US Military and “take our country back”…back??…back from whom??…we the People want it back from the gun nuts and those rich bastards pulling your puppet strings!!…I personally can not wait to see these idiots take on the World’s finest military and get their asses kicked, killed and maimed for all the world to see (it will be on TV!)…pry it from your cold, dead hands, you say?…GLADLY…we rational folk will be more than happy to take those guns and beat them into plowshares, never to be used to murder the innocent, EVER again…you gun nuts are nothing but a bunch of traitorous bastards…the whole lot of you…you don’t care now because it’s not your kid…but wait until it IS your kid…bet you cry a different tune then…I can’t wait to see the end you’re all gonna meet…but, hey!…that’s just me…

    • Andrew

      For someone who denounces gun nuts, this was an awfully violent post.

      • robingee

        Well, she’s sick of the shit. I am also tired of the left being so nice all the time. We always have to take the high road. But maybe these buttheads don’t understand civility.

      • Andrew

        Yet, if you take the low road, you have become like the people you are against.

      • Brad Rogers

        There’s a billion miles difference between the angriest of speech and the lightest of physical violence. No comparison.

      • David

        Obviously speech and actions are different things. What they both can share is malicious intent. This woman’s words are full of just as much malice as a person who carries out violence. It’s all about mindset.

      • Brad Rogers

        But none of that is relevant if she isn’t going around poised to fling hot lead into people’s heads.

      • Andrew

        So she can say violent things and make threats, while there are plenty of non-violent gun owners who sit and take the flack for every psycho that kills people? That’s very hypocritical if you ask me. She’s just as bad morally as the people she’s ranting against.

      • Brad Rogers

        Well, we fundamentally disagree on what is worse. Bad thought or carrying murder weapons around. I think you can have all the evil thoughts you want if you aren’t going to act on them. Besides that, she never made a threat. Name one. Be specific. She said they would try(and Cliven’s gang has already CLAIMED they would) to defend their gun rights with guns against our army and fail. That’s not a threat. The non-violent gun owners should be just as upset about the crazy people who think “dead kids” don’t matter. And it would only be hypocritical if she were calling them out for having mean thoughts, but she was calling them out for being obsessed with devices used only for killing. If I were you, I’d study “logical fallacies” and pay particular attention to the strawman.

    • Jason

      How do you explain the areas with highest gun control and its correlation with highest crime rate?

      • BethRFinch

        Citations, please…

      • christianh

        Crime in general is not gun deaths..

    • Michael Groves

      I have lost close friends to violent crimes both with and without guns involved but I still support everyone’s right to keep and bare firearms. As for your comment about taking on the u.s. military, I’d rather take on 100 of their best trained soldiers then one man defending his home and family. That one man has only one rule, win at all costs. But I know a lot of military personnel who have already said if it comes to it they will not stand against those they swore to protect.

      You want to stop the violence? Stop letting a corporate run government pit us against each other. White against black, man against woman, come on people we are all human beings. Let’s quit fighting amongst ourselves and stand up for each other. It’s only then that the politicians will begin to listen to us and stop following the corporate money that lines their pockets.

    • Murray Richardson

      Sounds like you believe in guns… You are advocating war… guns are not the problem… the problem is lack of real leadership… You have your president laughing and joking about drones bombing children over seas… but I don’t hear you complaining about that… Why? Because it is the painfully reality that you don’t want to face… That you have no leadership… What you have is a Tyranny that says do as we say not as we do… That doesn’t work for me… I don’t like hypocrites … If your a leader then show people the way… If your showing that you like to use violence killing children over seas to get your way then I guess thats what you should expect from your public… Maybe you should get a real leader… Or explain this too Obama… He seems reasonable…

    • Matthew Gribosh

      Are you for real that was extremely violent insensitive and discriminatory. For a group that preaches tolerance that was deplorable.. now you on the actions of one blame a group. Wow!! Look in a mirror. You just wished death to millions and their children that’s a responsible and reasonable reaction.. I am very happy you are not a gun owner.. wow!

  • Guest

    I
    have no problem with citizens owning small arms to defend the country in
    case of invasion, no matter how remote the possibility. I do have a
    problem with moneyed interests, like the NRA, who spurn rational
    attempts to stomp out mayhem caused by criminal uses of firearms.
    Speaking as an old Navy man, we need to take the NRA apart with courage
    and determination. Develop a mission, set an objective and go all out to
    win.

    • Thomas B Robson

      Very well said, sir.

  • LCrouse

    I truly have no problem with citizens owning small arms to defend the country in
    case of invasion, no matter how remote the possibility. I do have a
    problem with moneyed interests, like the NRA, who spurn rational
    attempts to stomp out mayhem caused by criminal uses of firearms.
    Speaking as an old Navy man, we need to take the NRA apart with courage
    and determination. Develop a mission, set an objective and go all out to
    win.

    • Matthew Gribosh

      You do understand the NRA is a prime lobby organization. Where in this country do you or any man have the right to squash their opinion.. There are lobbyists that argue all sorts of cuases. Some good some bad some you agree with some you dont.. The NRA does not make or change laws. And if their power changes votes it because they have support and support that is important to the people who do make laws.. it is not your right to take their voice away. It’s our job to elect the right people to represent us.. and as a former navy man you should understand the right to free speech and ideas is what you fought for.

      • Jennifer Wallner Goetz

        How naïve can you be? The majority of people support some gun regulations yet the NRA opposes any and all regulations and they mostly get their way. That doesn’t sound like the power to change votes via support. They use their money to buy support from the politicians who are supposed to be representing our interests. We can’t be sure what a politician is going to do once their elected and people are shoving money in their pockets. And unfortunately with a two party system we often have to vote for the person who most closely represents us. I will always vote for the more liberal of two candidates, the same way many conservatives vote for the more conservative candidate. It doesn’t mean we completely agree on everything or that I’m giving them the right to make my all the decisions about the laws I want passed. They are supposed to represent their constituents by listening to them and taking their needs and wants into account when voting, something not many of them do. When the NRA throws money at people, it isn’t support from the citizens of this country that is changing the way politicians vote for us.

      • Matthew Gribosh

        Where on earth do you think the NRA gets it money.? And what gives you the right to silence any group. So if you don’t like a the opinions of a gay marriage group do you call for the dismantling of their voice or do you support a group that opposes them. In this country do to freedom we support our causes we believe in and don’t support the ones we don’t we don’t silence.. wow!!!!!!!! So because the NRA supports no regulations they need to go or as some people on this discussion want them all dead very tolerant of those people.. I am not naive. Rep’s are elected every two years so if they don’t vote your way vote them out. If both sides aren’t voting your way then you are in the minority and in a democracy majority wins..

      • Matthew Gribosh

        I don’t mind background checks what I do mind is that we have tons of people that fail to pass a background check and no one follows up with that person why.. The government tells us because they don’t have the means but yet they will waste billions trying to pass more regulations let’s spend the money enforcing the ones we already have.. do you at least agree with that..

  • Malissa Bishop

    The right to life for all human beings trumps any gun nut’s right to a damn gun! I seriously hope one day this guy gets shot as harsh as that sounds. And I hope it doesn’t kill him but he lives the rest of his life in pain, then maybe he wouldn’t be such an asshole!

    • badcafe

      Like it worked for Brady.. who was for guns until he got shot in the head and then lobbied to pass the Brady bill … yes, gun nuts aiming their guns at the NRA for an ultimate shootout.. wouldn’t that be something 🙂 … as much as I do not condone violence, much rather them than a group of kids in a cafeteria

      • Matthew Gribosh

        My kid shoots guns so my kid is ok?

      • Matthew Gribosh

        You only condone violence against people who are on the wrong side of your opinion. This guy’s comments were insensitive and he does not represent everyone.. but you are willing to take the broad brush and paint a whole group. Look at yourself! Kill millions. Yes tens of millions you want dead. Largest genocide in history. And then after all the legal gun owners are dead are you going to go round up the 10,000,000 illegal guns from the criminals..?

      • badcafe

        I don’t remember asking for millions of people dead.. don’t pretend to know what I want, troll !! I am against the gun nuts and the corrupt guys enabling them by not even supporting reasonable background checks and regulations. I have nothing against responsible gun owners.. big difference! Please don’t conflate the two.

      • Matthew Gribosh

        You by your own statement said with a smiley face that “gun nuts aiming their guns at the NRA for an ultimate shootout.. wouldn’t that be something 🙂 .” There are millions that support the NRA and you want them to have the ultimate shoot out do you not think that will result in any deaths? I’m not a troll and the fact that you make that statement shows your ignorance. And we do have laws for back do going checks in this country and we do not enforce them by the own governments admission they do not have the resources to enforce but will waste billions on trying g to add new ones that they will then claim an inability to enforce.. let’s start by preventing people who shouldn’t have guns by following up on the people who fail instacheck

      • Matthew Gribosh

        Have you ever bought a gun there is a reasonable background check?? Why does the government not follow up when people are rejected through the background check!!!!?????

    • Matthew Gribosh

      Wow the right to life trumps all other rights unless you want to harm or alter that life.. so your rights actually trump all?? Correct! You are as nuts as him are you blind to that

      • Malissa Bishop

        Your statement here makes no sense. I just think you have nothing better to do than argue with people.

      • Matthew Gribosh

        How does my statement not make sense you said you hope he gets shot that is trumping his right to a normal life. Do you not see any hypocrisy in your statement?

      • Matthew Gribosh

        You say right to life trumps all gun nuts rights and then next sentence advocate for violence with a gun

  • Daniel Emerson

    Very telling that Joe the Plumber doesn’t even deign to fall back on the usual “people kill people” excuse (which, even as someone who leans liberal, I can accept– the gun may facilitate killing, but it takes an individual to pull the trigger) but he jumps right over that and says, “Your kids’ corpses don’t matter. My rights to own an arsenal do.”

    I do actually support the Second Amendment with responsibility in mind– if you’re careless with guns, you should have no business owning one, let alone several– but I don’t think people like Joe, who think having a personal arsenal is more important than people’s lives, should be carrying one around, either.

    • Matthew Gribosh

      Then why don’t we fight to enforce the laws we do have.. you know the current instacheck system kicks out denials for people who apply for a fire arm and are declined do to false statements or failing background check. Do you know how many of them are followed up on by the Gov who wants to add more laws.. less then 1%. Oh and ps lying on a form to acquire a firearm is breaking the law. The government says they don’t have the resources to enforce the law so just add more.. does that not sound silly. OK have a law not allowed to buy gun cause criminal or mental defect issues in past so we deny the legal purchase so instead of tracking those people who have been denied but want to buy down we do nothing allowing them to have their bf/gf go buy it for them.. wow

  • badcafe

    Why do people keep conflating rational regulation/control of gun access, like we implement for automobile safety, with outright ban of guns? In what deranged mind are the two the same? And why do we keep arguing whether the second amendment should have reasonable bounds, when we already have bounds and none of us can buy nukes and chemical weapons? A reasonable rational gun owner has no reason to feel threatened by a move to limit access to people with past history of violence and mental problems. Any more than I feel threatened if the feds are monitoring web activity to root out child pornography. So why the outrage? And finally, if the tyrannical govt really wanted to go up our asses, what arsenal of guns would ever protect us? How’d dicking with the govt with a houseful of arms work out for the Ranch Dravidians?

  • robingee

    Not named Joe. Not a plumber. Not very bright.

  • Michael Groves

    And what about the part that says “the people’s”? You omit parts that contradict what you are trying to push off on others. No I do not agree with what Joe the plumber said but the fact of the matter is the second amendment refers to a well regulated militia not guns. It goes on to state “the people’s right to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed”. “The people’s” referring to any and all u.s. citizens. That part was put into the Constitution so we as citizens could defend ourselves from the government if the time ever came. And it has come with the blm trying to take land from its rightful owners as well as unlawful raids on private property. In closing I will say if your going to put your opinion out there do us all a favor and have your facts straight.

    • BethRFinch

      Back atcha…

  • Fat Godzira

    Look I’ll admit it I love these nut jobs, but purely from an eterntainment standpoint. As their 15 minutes of fame slip away they become nuttier and nuttier to attract attention. That being said what’s best here is to ignore this troll and let him impolde in an ignominius grave of self loathing.

  • Jayce

    I dont believe guns are the problem. And Im appaled at the call for violence, by clueless, couch potatoes, who are supposedly trying to END violence. Just shut up already. Crying about responsible people who own firearms does nothing to prevent tradgedies. And for the record, this kid stabbed three, and ran over another victim with his car. The 2nd amendment is not up for new interpretation or specuation because you suddenly don’t like it. My condolences to the famalies and victims involved. This kid was a wacko and its too bad he didnt just hang himself.

  • Germaine Montgomery

    Fools like this are so bad for the NRA’s image. luv them! keep talking you friggin’ idiot!

  • George Tsuchiyama

    Yes you DO have the right to bear arms, but the 2nd Amendment also states, “a well regulated militia” so the government DOES have the right to regulate the sale and possession of guns to help ensure the general safety of the public. They DO have the right to restrict the mentally ill, convicted felons, etc. from possessing guns. NO ONE is preventing a law abiding citizen who goes through the legal process from procuring a gun.