Gun policy unfazed by theater massacreIf you’re among those who believe that the latest gun massacre will stimulate a national movement toward sanity in the handling of firearms you had better forget it. It isn’t going to happen.
By: Dan Thomasson, The Dickinson Press
If you’re among those who believe that the latest gun massacre will stimulate a national movement toward sanity in the handling of firearms you had better forget it. It isn’t going to happen.
As we read about the personal stories of those people who died in an Aurora, Colo., theater their loss has been degraded further by an increase in the state’s gun sales. How utterly tragic is that? The anemic anti-gun lobby can do little to overturn a culture that defies any rational solution no matter how obvious.
While President Barack Obama took time in a campaign appearance to allow that there should be some sort of national dialogue on gun policy, he made no suggestions on when or how that might occur. His presumptive Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, in no more than an acknowledgement of the disaster in Aurora, unsurprisingly refused to condemn uncontrolled access to firearms or those who support that policy with money and votes.
Quite obviously neither candidate wishes to take on the gun barons with their huge bank accounts and their zealous followers, many of whom are God fearing about most things except the right to shoot people in the name of self defense, which, by the way, seldom occurs in a crisis.
Thus we are left once again to accept the standard arguments that always follow these horrific events; to whit, guns don’t kill people, people kill people and if someone had been “carrying” as Batman prepared to take on the bad guys, they could have stopped the carnage. Well, in this instance that contention is provably wrong since the alleged culprit was covered from head to toe with body armor. Yet that silly claim probably is the main stimulus for Colorado’s gun surge.
So once again we can only wait until the next time, knowing that it will come, and that we can do little to stop it because the nation’s founders and current politicians, who think more of their own survival in office than they do of the lives of innocents, and the courts have seen to that. How many more of these acts of supreme violence can we expect? The number seems limitless given the access to weapons many of which were designed for the military battlefield.
The other day a Maryland man let off from his job was taken into custody after he announced that guns don’t kill people, he kills people. He had in his arsenal 25 automatic and semi-automatic weapons, all primed and in good working order. Would he have used them? I wouldn’t want to bet against it under the circumstances.
Someone suggested that what is needed is for the National Rifle Association and the anti-gun forces to sit down and reach an accommodation somehow. They have to be kidding. Why would the most powerful lobby in America backed up by a seemingly endless supply of cash need to negotiate about anything? Its congressional toadies are overwhelmingly in the majority when it comes to any firearms issue from bans on the sale and circulation of weapons of mass destruction to the most elementary restrictions aimed at curtailing crazies, past felons, drug lords and even disaffected kids.
Obama and Romney obviously don’t have the willpower or political courage to take on the gun issue. Who can say they’re wrong with the 2000 defeat of Albert Gore in Tennessee as the object lesson. His anti-gun image is credited with making him the only presidential candidate in history to lose his home state. Had he won there, he could have lost Florida and still won the election.
There seems to be only one politician in the nation who sees the problem and is willing to stand up and say so. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg refuses to be intimidated by the gun bullies and is wealthy enough to withstand anything they throw at him. His detractors in the firearms industry contend that he can’t run for reelection so it is easy for him to assume this stance. Then perhaps he should run for president. It would be a breath of fresh air to see a chief executive angry enough at incidents like Aurora to pledge to do something about them and mean it.
Thomasson is the former editor of the Scripps Howard News Service.