A Very Clear Lesson

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School senseless killings, the Washington buzz is “something must be done”.  What is that something about?  These code words imply Congress must deal with guns and regulations that apply.  Is this a Democrat and Republican issue?

The answer, in my opinion, is this issue is about common sense fighting special interests, not main line ideology.

It is true that many Americans would interpret the Constitution to guarantee each citizen’s right to possess a musket and nothing more, unless specifically authorized by law.  The Supreme Court has ruled that the “right to bear arms” does include weapons unavailable, and not even conceived of, when the Constitution was written.  The Court, however, has said States may impose “reasonable” limits.  Just which ones are reasonable is unclear.

Most gun advocates point to hunting, self defense, and sport as the reason they possess weapons, and why they are adamant that the 2nd Amendment protects their right to possess arms.  Others see only danger in weapons being in the general public.  In between there lies a wide area where common sense could exist.  Why can’t we seem to get there?

In this in between ground, lies some who want to play video games with real guns and ammunition.  This newly popularized activity invites gun owners to shoot at targets which explode when struck.  Any caliber, any firing rate (bullets per second), or any muzzle velocity seems ok to this group.  Even armor piercing ammunitions seems fair game.

The “in between land” also is home to “faux patriots” and their cousins – anarchists, secessionists, and far right militarists.  Armed with muskets, these groups represent a manageable problem.  Armed with armor piercing bullets, grenades, and automatic weapons is quite a different problem.

Carrying a hand gun in public may be acceptable in certain less populated parts of the country… for personal safety.  In New York City, “carrying” is a prescription for killings.  But no matter how one may feel about “carrying”, or whether reasonable citizens would consider it wise, it seems to me outside the realm of reasonableness that the weapon strapped to ones waist or hung on the back of ones pickup truck, be accompanied with armor piercing bullets, high capacity clips, or be semi or full automatic capable.

There is plenty of ground for gun enthusiasts to gain in any settlement.  So why wouldn’t reasonableness prevail?

The answer is fear.  Fear of well financed opposition at the time of an election.  In a word, the NRA and the money it can bring to bare.  A well focused, well financed minority can swing enough elections to create an invincibility myth and the fear that goes with it.

Uncontrolled gun ownership is like a cancer.  Like most cancers, gun ownership cancer grows slowly.  Then one day the cancer has metastasized and the cancer can not be controlled.  Wake up Congress.

Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party

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6 Comments on “A Very Clear Lesson”

  1. FLPatriot Says:

    Every time a politician says “something must be done” I feel liberties die.

    • FL, you are correct in many occasions… but not with respect to the first Amendment and yelling fire in a crowded theater… there are reasonable limits on our “freedoms” that enhance the quality of life for most everyone else.

    • FLPatriot Says:

      I agree, and those limits have been defined for a long time. It is my opinion that this generation of politicians are more inclined to take away freedoms and rights needlessly instead of addressing the root of the problems. I have little faith or respect for the ability of the current generation of politicians to make sound decisions that do not infringe on the freedom of the majority for the sake of looking as if they are doing something when in fact they are accomplishing nothing.

      • FL, so here’s the question… is the current crop of politicians simply incompetent and do not possess the knowledge on freedoms? Or, are they marginalized by other factors… like the cost of their campaigns (how to finance them), the corruption of special interests (how to resist taking a little money themselves), or the lack the ethical fiber to make good decisions and not be influenced by money?

        You raise a very good question.

      • FLPatriot Says:

        It is my opinion that the money in politics is only a small part of the problem. The bigger problem is the fact that politics has become a career for so many.

        Politicians are more concerned with being re-elected than doing what is right for the country in the long term. So they make their decisions on how to make the current voters happy despite what the effects will be in the future.

        Most politicians know that as long as they give they will receive votes. Then they will not have to make a living in the private sector and the laws and regulations they are passing will not apply to them,so they care little for what those laws and regulations actual do.

        Yes, we need to limit the effects of money on elections. Yes, we need to make it harder for deep pockets from getting influence in Washington. But I think it would be better to first have term limits on Congressmen so that they will have to try and make a living in the economy that their laws and regulations are effecting.

  2. FL… ah, the great question which came first the chicken or the egg? Are politicians in office too long because special interests keep them there or are politicians in office too long because they want to make money?

    My guess is that most elected officials go to Washington with a reasonable good set of intentions. Soon they learn how the game is played and decide to stay… And not too long after, Congress person becomes their profession… As any of us would do in our profession, we would try to provide for our futures as well as we could… this means getting wealthy…

    There are many ways… like in Philadelphia Representative Bob Brady has his fingers in many deals and has had his wife appointed to the Port Authority… Now Brady votes normally well left of center but his doors are open to those who can help him stay in office. Pretty normal…

    Without term limits this will go on. I think you have a good point that not all politicians can be bought on a single issue unless they see it as a clear route to reelection…

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