Cartoon: The Hunt For Voter Fraud

voter-fraud-pointer

Read the comic on Fusion!

TRANSCRIPT OF COMIC

Panel 1
A rather cliched-looking hunter, a white man wearing a thick vest with many pockets and a plaid cap with earflaps, is creeping through a woodsy area, holding a rifle and looking around.
HUNTER: I know there’s voter fraud hiding somewhere…

Panel 2
The hunter spots something off-panel and shoots his rifle at it.
HUNTER: A-hah! Take THAT, voter fraud!
RIFLE: BLAM!
OFF-PANEL VOICE: OW!

Panel 3
Voting Rights, a dark-skinned woman with a hole blasted in her chest, has walked up to the Hunter and is chewing him out. The Hunter, rifle pointed towards the ground, looks quite cheerful.

VOTING RIGHTS: Would you PLEASE stop shooting me?
HUNTER: Oh hi, Voting Rights. I was aiming for voter fraud.

Panel 4
The Hunter raises his rifle to point it directly at Voting Rights and cocks the gun.
VOTING RIGHTS: You always say that, but you always hit ME!
HUNTER: What an odd and inexplicable coincidence.

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23 Responses to Cartoon: The Hunt For Voter Fraud

  1. 1
    nobody.really says:

    This is gold. Solid gold. As a brilliant literary critic once observed,

    I read it and my first reaction is, “That’s such an obvious joke.” But my second reaction is, “So why haven’t I seen it everywhere?” Perhaps this is the mark of genius: I only seems obvious in retrospect.

    Here we have another such example. I’m reminded of Amp’s cartoon comparing a black person’s burden of explaining racism to white people to Sisyphus’s burden of trying to get a bolder to the top of a mountain, only to have it roll back down again, every day for eternity. It is SUCH a good metaphor. But to get the joke, you have to know the Greek legend. Here, the metaphor is every bit as good a fit, with no erudition required. You don’t even have to know much about hunting beyond the Elmer Fudd level. It’s direct, simple, and visceral.

    The cartoon is not overtly partisan—you could distribute it with any non-partisan discussion of voting issues, or in a civics textbook—yet the cartoon leaves no doubt about who the bad actors are.

    Finally—and I cringe to mention such a mundane consideration—this cartoon is honest-to-God funny. The transcript really doesn’t do it justice, because the hunter’s insincerity must be inferred from the test—whereas in the drawing, the insincerity is plain as the nose on his face. (And if you’re just reading text, that’s a VERY obvious nose.)

  2. 2
    Seriously? says:

    Just curious.

    Is there a deeper meaning behind the ridiculous way the gun is being handled? With every panel but the third, I needed a few moments to tear my eyes from the hands of the guy. And even in the third panel, the character goes from right to left handed. Yes, the position of the trigger finger is commendable, but he would only keep it there if he were used to shooting with it.

    Imagine reading a cartoon where the driver is negotiating a curvy road with his left hand on the rear view mirror and his right on the steering wheel’s hub.

    I think that the character is meant to be malicious, not incompetent, so I find it distracting.

  3. 3
    Ampersand says:

    No meaning behind it – just a bad job on my part. I’ll try to do better next time I draw a character with a rifle.

  4. 4
    Humble Talent says:

    On the comic itself though… It’s hard to argue against it. It’s one of those things where an absurdity has given birth to other absurdities. Every time someone (and it wasn’t always the GOP) puts forward legislation to deal with voter fraud, more often than not if you looked behind the somewhat skimpy fig leaf, there’s language in the act that would overreach to some kind of disenfranchisement.

    That’s absurd.

    But now it’s led the the opponents of disenfranchisement taking a hard line against even reasonable legislation. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: America stands alone among Western Democracies in not having national voter ID requirements. Canada does. Mexico does. What other nations see as necessary to a functioning democracy, certain Americans see as crippling to it. Are there Millions of cases, as the Cheeto in Chief insists? No. Not in it’s wildest dreams. Were there only three, as certain pundits insisted? I have a bridge to sell them. Hundreds? Almost definitely. Thousands? I think we’re close. Tens of thousands? Maybe. And that’s the number that everyone should be concerned about, because ten thousand votes could have, in certain states, swapped electoral votes in the 2016 election.

    [Off-topic comment about gun control moved to the open thread. Sorry, HT, but there’s just no way that people could have responded to you in this thread without driving the thread badly off-topic. –Amp]

    But absurdities lead to absurdities, right? You look back 20 years, and things that even today something like 90% of Americans agree with (depending on how you ask the question) like universal background checks, were not opposed, but endorsed by the NRA. Fast forward 20 years, and Democrats have so soiled their credibility on gun control, and American politics are so polarised that something that IS genuinely common sense is opposed as if it’s the most unreasonable restriction ever proposed.

    This is why you can’t have nice things.

  5. 5
    Ampersand says:

    An off-topic comment by Humble Talent has been moved to an open thread.

  6. 6
    Ampersand says:

    Seriously?, or anyone else – could you suggest to me a photograph or photographs, showing a hunter holding a rifle in the correct manner, preferably in profile as he is in the cartoon?

    Obviously, I can find photos online – but there’s a chance that the photo I decide on would also be inaccurate, and I wouldn’t spot it. So if you could help me out here, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

  7. 7
    Sarah says:

    I may be wrong, but my perception, based on talking to other liberal/progressive types, is that most of them are 100% on board with a plan to give everyone a national voter ID, usually combined with automatic registration for citizens turning 18. It would just have to be free. Every argument from a leftist I’ve heard against voter IDs hinges on their not being free, or requiring time off work to physically travel to a DMV that’s only open 9-5 M-F, and therefore serving as an obstacle to low-income voters. A mail-in system that required no monetary expense and worked the same way as voter registration currently does when you don’t already have a driver’s license (in CA, you use your SSN, and there’s an option on the form for if you don’t have one of those either) would be fine with me, and I would have very few objections to a national voter ID card that was fairly available to poor, elderly, and birth-certificate-lacking citizens.

  8. 8
    Seriously? says:

    Seriously?, or anyone else – could you suggest to me a photograph or photographs, showing a hunter holding a rifle in the correct manner, preferably in profile as he is in the cartoon?

    Sure.

    I’m having trouble deciding what kind of weapon you are drawing, though. It has many Wyatt Earp features, but only one barrel. It lacks the tubular magazine under the barrel to be a pump shotgun. And the transcript mostly confuses me, especially messing with the hammer in the last panel. On a single shot gun it would achieve exactly nothing, double action on shotguns means something else than on revolvers, and on any semi-automatic it would act as a sort of safety. Don’t trust Hollywood on this.

    So, here a few suggestions. Describe the gun as a shotgun, not a rifle. Give it a second, side by side, barrel. In the transcript, make it “cocks the second hammer”.

    As for pictures, here is one for each panel.

    Panel 1. Ready to aim and fire.
    Panel 2. Firing.
    Panel 3. Non-threatening carry.
    Panel 4. Ready to fire from the hip.

  9. 9
    Ampersand says:

    Thanks! I love the flying shell in photo #2.

    But when I try to look at photo #3, I get a “You don’t have permission to access” error. If I could impose on you a bit more, could you please email the picture to me? It’s barry.deutsch@gmail.com .

    Also, would the “click” sound effect still be appropriate for panel 4, even if it’s stretching things a little?

  10. 10
    Seriously? says:

    The ‘click’ effect is only appropriate, as in threatening, if the shotgun has two barrels, and one remains unfired.

    The problem is, such a shotgun will not eject a shell in Panel 2. As a rule, and despite what Hollywood loves to show you, a weapon that ejects a casing will be ready to fire without a hammer needing to be cocked, a forestock needing to be pumped, a slide needing to be pulled, etc. Now, the click could be the safety, but that would mean that at some point after panel 2 the character put the weapon on ‘safe’.

    —–

    By the way, the weapons in my images are different types. I chose them for the hand positions, but they are respectively:
    – a bolt action rifle in image 1
    – a pump shotgun in image 2 and 4
    – a side by side shotgun in image 3

    The last one is the only type that usually has exposed, operable hammers.

  11. 11
    Ampersand says:

    Thanks!

    So if I skip having the the ejected shell, and use a side by side shotgun like this one, I’m okay using the “click.” Yes?

  12. 12
    nobody.really says:

    <blockquote I’m reminded of Amp’s cartoon comparing a black person’s burden of explaining racism to white people to Sisyphus’s burden of trying to get a bolder to the top of a mountain, only to have it roll back down again, every day for eternity. It is SUCH a good metaphor. But to get the joke, you have to know the Greek legend. Here, the metaphor is every bit as good a fit, with no erudition required. You don’t even have to know much about hunting beyond the Elmer Fudd level.

    Ok, apparently, knowledge beyond the Elmer Fudd level would be useful. Perhaps that’s a lesson for government policy generally.

  13. 13
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Sarah says:
    May 18, 2017 at 11:56 am
    I may be wrong, but my perception, based on talking to other liberal/progressive types, is that most of them are 100% on board with a plan to give everyone a national voter ID, usually combined with automatic registration for citizens turning 18. It would just have to be free.

    An interesting analogy:

    Nick the NRA Nut will agree to gun licensing and gun registration! For everyone!
    But since it’s a constitutional right, Nick “just” has a few caveats.

    Nick says:
    Licensing has to be free, of course. It also has to have pretty much zero error rate: you can’t do it if you might accidentally deny a license to the wrong person somehow, thereby depriving them of their rights.

    Also, it has to work for people with no documentation, or low documentation–anyone who can’t find their birth certificate or license might need free legal help or money for documentation, and if they can’t prove it then you need another system to address that. If you get 100-year-old folks with no birth certificate, you better assume they’re gun-rights-having citizens unless you can prove otherwise.

    And not only does it need to be free, it needs to be convenient. You can’t make people do things during working hours, you can’t make them drive places unless you provide transportation, etc. Also, you need to demonstrate that this is going to work basically perfectly before you start; there is no tolerance at all for any errors in the startup process.

    And finally, you can’t do any of this until you can explain statistics on unlicensed gun ownership. You may protest that it’s nearly impossible to actually provide those stats when you don’t have a system in place to reliably distinguish licensed and unlicensed applicants, but so be it.

    My response (and yours, I assume) would be “Come on, Nick, that’s bullshit. You’re just trying to claim that you’re fine with universal licensing, but you’re deliberately making nearly-impossible demands. Not to mention that you clearly think that we shouldn’t license based on your other positions. You’re pretending to care about this an offer “sensible” solutions, but really you care much more about people having guns in general, than you do about the problem of the wrong folks having guns.”

    Sometimes it is hard not to feel a bit that way about some liberal approaches to the voting rights debate. I don’t think it’s just “free.”

  14. 14
    Seriously? says:

    So if I skip having the the ejected shell, and use a side by side shotgun like this one, I’m okay using the “click.

    Generally speaking yes, but you are looking at single trigger model that lacks the two exposed hammers. It’s a really cheap (and ugly, in my opinion) gun.

    Here is one closer to my heart. It has the brand name ‘Liberty’, for extra creepiness. At least, that what my wife said when she made me rent a locket at the range, rather than have it at home… This specific gun would be able to do everything in your cartoon exactly right.

    And while I think that we are getting into too much detail, I enjoy getting things exactly right. Also, I have not fired, or really thought about guns since my daughter was born. So thanks right back at you!

  15. 15
    Ben Lehman says:

    IDK, I think a universal gun registration that was convenient, free, and provided by the government for citizens would be pretty fantastic and, if it included ballistics and was digitized, could be helpful in solving a lot of crimes.

    (note: I do not hold standard liberal views on guns and should not be considered a default liberal for these purposes.)

  16. 16
    Jake Squid says:

    I agree with Ben. Universal gun registration would be loads better than what we’ve got now. It would be great if there was some sort of mandatory safety training that went with licensing, but that’s pure fantasy in the US.

  17. 17
    Ben Lehman says:

    Of course, this is a false equivalence. Most left-of-center people in the US don’t believe that the constitution protects an individual right to own firearms. Except for the fringe, I don’t think that the (American) right-wing explicitly believes that voting rights don’t exist and that we’d be better off without elections.

  18. 18
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Jake Squid says:
    May 19, 2017 at 11:11 am
    I agree with Ben. Universal gun registration would be loads better than what we’ve got now. It would be great if there was some sort of mandatory safety training that went with licensing, but that’s pure fantasy in the US

    I am a bit skeptical of the value of a typical training.

    I’ve taken live-fire mandatory safety training before and I’m taking it again. It’s helpful, I think, but it is super minimal. In Massachusetts (!) it’s only about 4 hours and that’s for concealed carry of a handgun. It is not NEARLY enough training to actually make people safe or get them much beyond “don’t point your gun at anything you don’t want to shoot.”

    Guns are complex and there’s a lot of stuff to think about. And when I think about other similarly-complex safety-requirement stuff I know, it is clear that four hours is way too short. Scuba training takes much longer. Good skydiving training–which also carries the ‘get it right or death’ aspect–also takes longer. And for sure you can’t develop any muscle memory with 4 hours, so everything you’re trying to do with the gun requires a lot of memory. So many safety violations seem to happen with lack of thinking, perhaps the best four-hour class would involve 1000 repetitions of “inspect gun; pick up gun safely; load; unload; clear chamber; inspect gun; put down.”

    Any training which is really good–say, 20 hours–is going to be too expensive and difficult. And any training which is short (0-4 hours) won’t do that much.

    Ben Lehman says:
    May 19, 2017 at 12:46 pm
    Of course, this is a false equivalence.

    Agreed. Guns enable easy/accidental killing and there are a lot of valid reasons to be worried about them, in ways which don’t apply to a voting violation. However, given the general liberal distate for guns, and the obvious enshrinement of gun ownership as a right, it seemed the best choice to make that particular point.

    Most left-of-center people in the US don’t believe that the constitution protects an individual right to own firearms.

    Huh? I know lots of gun haters. They would happily support a removal of the 2nd amendment, and they will use any loophole they can to fight against gun ownership. But they don’t deny the entire existence of constitutional gun rights. Maybe you know different gun-haters?

  19. 19
    Jake Squid says:

    Any training which is really good–say, 20 hours–is going to be too expensive and difficult. And any training which is short (0-4 hours) won’t do that much.

    It’s only too expensive and difficult if we deem it so. And we do.

    It just bothers me that I had more training to drive my tractor than most of the people I know got for their gun(s).

    They would happily support a removal of the 2nd amendment, and they will use any loophole they can to fight against gun ownership. But they don’t deny the entire existence of constitutional gun rights.

    I don’t believe that the second amendment supports constitutional gun rights as currently understood if the first clause of the amendment exists. Which it both does and doesn’t. It does in the sense that those words are in there. It doesn’t in the sense that SCOTUS has deemed them irrelevant. I’ve known several others who believe the same thing, but we may be effectively non-existent.

  20. 20
    Kate says:

    In an ideal world, I’d like to see concealed/carry gun rights handled like driving rights. You need to take a written test and prove, in a controlled setting (obviously you couldn’t have an actual road test), that you are able to use that tool properly. How you learn is your own business (again, same as driving). Voting should be easier and more accessible.
    I’m not sure whether the constituion allows for that level of restriction of gun rights. But, I also don’t think the founders anticipated people being irresponible enough to run around with loaded guns that they don’t know how to use.

  21. 21
    Charles S says:

    What is generally referred to as the individual right to own guns was only established as a constitutionally protected right in Heller in 2008. The dissent in Heller rejects the distinction of an individual right, but also rejects the idea that the 2nd amendment establishes an individual right to own guns for self defense or hunting rather than the individual right to own guns for the purpose of maintaining a well regulated militia. Prior to Heller, Miller in 1939 had rejected the idea that the 2nd amendment applied to any gun right that was not in service of maintaining a well regulated. The restrictive law that Heller overturned had been in force in DC since 1976, so it went a long time before anyone thought to challenge it on 2nd amendment grounds.

  22. 22
    pillsy says:

    I think it’s unlikely there’s a serious Constitutional issue with training requirements for gun ownership, just given how limited the right outlined in Heller is. I’m also skeptical that there would be that much policy benefit to mandatory training—the vast majority of firearm deaths are the result of intentional (mis)use a gun, being either suicides or intentional homicides. Accidental deaths are rare and have declined a lot.

    Also, in some places, training requirements have been used as de facto gun bans, which has done a lot to poison that particular well among gun rights advocates.

  23. 23
    Charles S says:

    Ezell v Chicago held that a Chicago gun regulation that required firing range training for gun owners was unconstitutional because Chicago bans firing ranges in the city, but the reasoning of the decision seems like it means that a requirement of firing range training for gun owners would not be unconstitutional if gun ranges were allowed in the jurisdiction where the regulation applies.

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