A Missouri State Representative who is either awful at negotiating in particular or truly, legally-blind-school-bus-driver levels of dangerously terrible at his job in general — i.e. working productively to make the lives of the people he represents better — has proposed a bill that would require every Missourian between the ages of 18 and 35 who is legally allowed to own a firearm to own an AR-15.
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On February 28th, Missouri House Bill 1108 was proposed by Andrew McDaniel, (R-Deering). If passed, H.B. 1108 would make it so that every person who is a Missouri resident on August 28th, 2019 who does not own an AR-15 would, by law, have to purchase one within a year.
The bill would establish what is being called (and also presumably being used as boner fuel by its author) the McDaniel Militia Act. It’s almost certain that the irony of attempting to impose an absurdly invasive law meant to prevent government tyranny is lost on McDaniel, but then again it’s understandable that he might not have the time to take a step back for self-reflection while wrapped up in all the wet fever dreams he’s having about his epitaph and legacy.
Andrew McDaniel: masturbating furiously I’m so good at making freedom. Yeah I am.
Of course, there is another explanation for proposing such a batshit insane bill. McDaniel is using this over-ask as a negotiating tactic. The bill also seeks to authorize a tax credit for purchases of an AR-15, which is a far more realistic goal that at least exists within the realm of justifiability. A tax credit would also incentivize Missourians to arm themselves, something McDaniel is clearly trying to accomplish. With his mandatory giant powerful gun ownership program proposal what McDaniel is seeking to do is “shift the Overton window” as the kids are saying — no really, they’re actually saying this a lot lately. It’s become a hot phrase for those who like to discuss politics and/or scream threats and unhinged accusations at each other on social media.
The idea behind these over-asks is that they’re so ridiculous they make whatever you really want sound reasonable by comparison when you couple them together. If you had to write a book about this negotiating tactic you might title it, “Haggling for Dipshits”.
Tossing around the term “Overton window” came en vogue after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveiled her FAQ for what she and others dubbed The Green New Deal. When people rightfully wondered aloud how proposals like sending everyone to college for free and publicly beheading Jeff Bezos if he doesn’t give every American a thousand dollars had anything to do with climate change, her supporters and apologists responded with some version of, “It’s a negotiation tactic, ever heard of Overton window, IDIOT?!?” As if making ludicrous requests somehow doesn’t immediately disqualify you from being taken seriously.
“Hi I’m Rob.”
“Hey, I’m Claire.”
“You seem really cool, is there any way I could get your phone number and also have consensual unprotected sex with you until you get pregnant so that we can raise a child together?”
“How about just the phone number then? That’s all I really wanted anyway.”
“GET AWAY FROM ME.”
Apparently at some point someone decided doing this was a savvy move (it definitely didn’t start with AOC, it’s a tactic Donald Trump, for one, boasted about in his book The Art of the Deal).
That’s probably (hopefully) what’s happening with this Missouri gun bill as well. (Otherwise McDaniel is an actual lunatic instead of simply having the debate acumen of the kid warming the end of the bench on an 8th-grade debate team.) Even if this gun bill is just an over-ask designed to get a tax credit for AR-15 purchases, it’s still stupid. This style of political negotiation needs to be laughed out of existence. Immediately. Not treated with even the slightest bit of seriousness.
The Second Amendment is serious. Climate change is serious. Most issues the government has to deal with are serious. Treating the debates and negotiations about these issues like a you’re a six-year-old trying to wrangle an extra present out of your parents.
Child: I, um, want, um, two more things. I want a new treehouse and, um, a, um, a bright yellow pony! I have to have both or I’ll be super duper mad at you!
Parent: Well, honey, I don’t think we have the space for a bright yellow pony.
Child: smiling deviously I guess I’d be happy with just the treehouse then…
Bringing demands to the table that might be an overreach and that you’re willing to live without is a legitimate negotiating tactic. Pulling