Here we go again …
Another crazy gets hold of an arsenal of weapons; breaks almost every law in the books; and shoots scores of innocents. And the result is predictable … a groundswell of opinion that never wavers … PASS LAWS TO RESTRICT GUN OWNERSHIP!
The problem with that sentiment is that third word … “LAWS”. Because “laws” only apply to those inclined to obey them in the first place!
It’s one thing if our elected leaders had the backbone to take on such an unpopular position (unpopular that is to most people who do not live in large, liberal-run cities) and accept the political consequences. But that’s rarely ever the case, when politics and power are of greater value. And that’s exactly the sentiment that was expressed by Democrat stalwart Senator (CA) Dianne Feinstein, who stated, although a sane discussion on gun control and a ban on military-type assault rifles was important, an election year was not the time to address it.
Huh?!? Wouldn’t that be the PERFECT time to address the issue?!?
Apparently the Democrats see a discussion of gun control to be a political loser in a year when President Obama is fighting for re-election in what is expected to be a close election. For these Democrats, the subject of limiting gun violence by restricting access to guns for everyone is trumped by White House aspirations. It says much about where the issue really sits with the political animals of the Democratic Party. So, if they refuse to have this discussion now, why should they be taken seriously when they finally get around to it?
In that same vein, we are still waiting for The President to get around to his 2008 campaign promises on gun control. Instead, President Obama has signed bills allowing guns in national parks and even on Amtrak! He has steadfastly refused to seek reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban. And maybe that’s the real reason Democrats – like Senator Feinstein – do not wish to bring it up now!
But in truth, even if we did have this conversation today, it would accomplish NOTHING for keeping guns of all shapes, sizes, and magazine capacities from the criminals and the crazies.
That’s the REAL problem … the criminals and the crazies. You have no right to ask law-biding citizens to give up access to responsible gun ownership if you have no prospects for denying similar weapons to the criminals and the crazies. And it’s mind-boggling that anyone would propose such a ban in an age where our own Federal Government openly distributed guns to the most dangerous criminals currently on the continent. They must solve the problem of keeping automatic assault weapons from the drug runners, the gangs, and criminally insane before asking John Q. Citizen to even consider doing the same.
I ain’t holding my breath on the former, but fully expect continued efforts to do the latter.
For another reason entirely, I laugh when gun opponents run up the flag of the Founding Fathers to claim that they had no intention for gun ownership to exist outside what was needed for the purposes of organized state militias. That may well have been their original intent, just like it was to restrict the voting rights of women or to count African slaves as 3/5 of a person. In reality, the concept of militia had little-to-nothing to do historically with the development of a gun culture in the United States.
Every household in 18th century America REQUIRED the possession of a firearm. This was not a legal requirement; it was a requirement for survival. For if you lived anywhere other than the relative safety of early American cities, a gun was as important as food in surviving the dangers and hostilities of the unsettled frontier.
Whether it was dealing with the growing hostility of a native population or using the point-of-a-gun to discourage foreign intervention and push American civilization West across the North American continent, the National Government fostered the concept of private gun ownership – far removed from the concept of militia service – among its citizens. Huge tracts of territory were settled and controlled; colonial forces from Spain, Britain, and France were pushed out; and the Wild West was colonized, then civilized with the help of armed citizens that NEVER once stepped foot into a militia formation.
It renders the concept of “militia” a convenient interpretation of a badly worded phrase in the Bill of Rights. So for better or worse – depending on your point-of-view – America grew and flourished as the result of a gun culture that was accepted by a Government led directly by those same Founding Fathers. The same ones who supposedly never intended private gun ownership outside of a quasi-military apparatus.
The irony seems lost on those who want to blame the carnage on law-biding citizens and their long-held rights.