Monday, December 17, 2012
Enough is Enough
After watching the Sunday talk shows ,it was comforting to know that people on both sides of the gun control issue want to come together to find a path forward in trying to curtail the senseless killings. The pro- gun advocates want to make violent movies and video games, treating the mentally ill, and breaking away from the special interest groups as part of the conversation. I wanted to hear what our pro- gun politicians had to say. Meet the Press invited 31 pro- gun senators to appear on their show but they all declined. Fox News was left with Tyler Texas’s wing-nut Representative Louis Gohmert, to make a case for more guns but that went over like a lead balloon and his words will probably be used by the late night comics.
The same talking points don’t have the impact they once had because this time we’ve had enough. Connecticut ranks fifth as far as strict gun controls goes, the Sandy Hook school was as secure as any school in America. The guns were purchased legally, so there’s not a lot to be done to correct this particular situation. That doesn’t mean that we forget the other places of mass violence and just yesterday a man was arrested in the Indiana, who had 47 guns and threaten to shoot up a school.
New York’s Mayor Bloomberg said that 77,000 individuals tried to illegally purchase a gun but the Feds are slow in going after these people. Enacting new state laws won’t mean much if they don’t have the support of the Federal government because there is the issue of the constitution.
It’s been estimated that 40% of illegal gun sales are done at unregulated gun shows. These are measures that are easy to correct were it not for fear of political repercussions. The talk shows pointed that out, as if the Democrats were the only ones afraid to take action. This time it’s different; Senator Feinstein said she will dust off her old “assault weapon ban” and present it to the senate just as soon as Congress reconvenes. You’ll be surprised how many people won’t mind taking those deemed military style weapons, off the market. There’s no appetite for confiscating those that already out there, just the future manufacturing, sales, and importation of those weapons for civilian use.
I heard that we have 200 million guns in the United States but only four years of ammunition. The second amendment is not absolute; perhaps a high surtax on the bullets is an answer; as was once suggested by the late Senator Moynihan.. The gun enthusiast need not fear because the Supreme Court has proved time after time that the second amendment will be up held and it should be. The right of self- protection is a right we all endear but show me one case where an AR 15 was used for self -protection.
Treating mental illness should be front and center because as a pundit said this morning “ what kind a country are we living when it’s easier to buy an assault weapon than it is to get an appointment to treat mental illness.” Restoring funding to treat mentally illness should be a priority and a very important tool in getting a handle on all the violence.
I don’t know what role of violent movies and video games play but I imagine it affects the more vulnerable. As a kid, I remember watching “The Lone Ranger” and playing cowboys and Indians where playacting or not; killing was part of the game. I’ll leave that to the experts because I don’t know how realistic the games are these days or what impact it has.
Whenever action we do take; it has to be comprehensive and not just excuse to go after the gun lobby. We’ll hear that we can’t stop all the violence, and that’s true but that’s no reason to sit on our hands and say “that’s just part of life these days.”