Some days, sadly, these stories just write themselves.
Kansas State Representative Virgil Peck (R) suggested yesterday during a House Appropriations Committee meeting that undocumented immigrants should be hunted down and shot, as noted in Jillian Rayfield’s piece at Talking Points Memo:
The state’s House Appropriations Committee was debating financing for controlling the feral swine problem, the Lawrence Journal World reports, when one legislator suggested the problem could be handled by shooting them from helicopters. Peck offered: “It looks like to me if shooting these feral hogs works maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem.” (emphasis added)
When later pressed about his comment, Peck refused to acknowledge that he might have spoken inappropriately, saying that he was “just speaking like a southeast Kansas person” (which he apparently takes to mean “unabashed and unapologetic”) and that he expected no further controversy over his comment.
Somos Republicanos, a national Hispanic Republican organization, had other ideas, and put out a media advisory reminding Peck what incendiary rhetoric sometimes leads to. They called for an apology:
We are sick and tired of the bigotry from state legislators who would rather advocate for violence and shooting people than to focus on reasonable solutions. Hasn’t Mr. Peck learned from the mistakes of Sarah Palin when she put what appeared to be gun sight crosshairs over our Congresswoman, Gabby Gifford’s district?…In a time of extreme tension and occasional violence over illegal immigration, such as the slaughter of a Mexican-American family in Arizona including a nine-year old girl, allegedly by Minutemen, elected officials should refrain from the use of violent metaphors.
Peck explained that he was merely voicing the frustration his constituents feel about the lack of governmental response to illegal immigration, possibly in relation to Kansas House Bill 2372, an Arizona-like piece of legislation that was tabled this week.
Still, it’s hard to see how frustration translates to equating people with pigs so that we can shoot at them from the air in order to control their numbers. But this is Kansas, home of the Westboro Baptist Church, George Tiller’s murderer, and fellow Rep. Connie “olive complexion” O’Brien. So while it might make some kind of twisted sense to the likes of Peck, other Republicans should maybe think about how this kind of thing will not make Hispanics turn out for them.
Meanwhile, non-genocidal southeast Kansas persons should perhaps reconsider whether Peck is such a good representative of their values.
You can tell Rep. Peck that advocating for the slaughter of immigrants is never OK by signing our petition here.