Orlando was the worst, but it was only a matter of degree.
You all know the statistics:
- More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in this country
- More than 30 people are shot and murdered each day
- 1/2 of them are between the ages of 18 and 35
And our lawmakers do absolutely nothing to prevent these deaths. Quite the contrary–they facilitate them.
Rational laws that would save lives don’t have to violate anyone’s sacred Second Amendment rights. (I do wish some of those Second Amendment purists were half as vigilant about other provisions of the Bill of Rights…). We simply have to stop electing people too timid and/or self-serving to stand up to the NRA–lawmakers willing to enact rational measures that overwhelming majorities of Americans–and majorities of its own members– support.
Just for starters:
- Don’t allow people on the terrorist “no fly” watch list to purchase guns.
- Do fund CDC research on gun violence.
- Do allow gun manufacturers to produce and sell weapons that can only be fired by their lawful owners.
- Ban assault rifles and weapons that have no purpose except to kill more people in less time with deadly efficiency.
The day after the San Bernardino massacre, Senate Republicans defeated a measure that would have prevented terrorists from buying guns.
The GOP-controlled Senate refusal to pass new gun control measures came weeks after the Washington Post reported that suspected terrorists had successfully purchased more than 2,000 guns from American dealers between 2004 and 2014, even though law enforcement is notified whenever someone on the FBI’s watchlist attempts to purchase a firearm.
You might think that allowing people we deem too dangerous to be allowed on a plane should be prevented from buying lethal arms, but according to the NRA, that would violate their rights.
And learning anything about the nature and extent of gun violence would also evidently imperil the Second Amendment. President Obama lifted the ban on such research, but Congress has adamantly refused to fund it. It’s anyone’s guess what the NRA is afraid such research would uncover…
The invention of a gun that can only be fired by its owner would seem to be a no-brainer–a boon to all those “good guys with guns” the NRA keeps talking about. If stealing that good guy’s gun becomes futile because only he can use it, that would certainly seem to be a good thing. But the introduction of guns with that feature was met with death threats (click through if you don’t believe me), intimidating retailers who might otherwise sell them, and a fear that laws might be passed requiring all guns sold to have the feature. That, of course, would reduce gun sales…
NO “good guy” needs an assault weapon. (I love the argument that citizens need these armaments in order to defy an overreaching government. Anyone who thinks the possession of an assault rifle would allow him to prevail over government drones, tanks and other sophisticated arms in the event our government suddenly went on the offensive is simply insane.)
None of these measures would interfere with legitimate ownership and use of a gun. All of them would make us safer.
The NRA doesn’t care. Their constituency is the gun manufacturers.
The question is: why do we continue to elect lawmakers in thrall to an organization that isn’t even responsive to its own membership?