It seems absurd to have to write about the obvious need for tighter gun regulations in the wake of Aurora, Newtown and Orlando. But here we are once again, beset with a group of Republican NRA-toadies (and a few Democrats) who evidently prefer dead bodies to any limits on firearms ownership. What a shameful travesty.
With the activities of Democrats and a minuscule group of Republicans this week, however, there are least some glimmers of change afoot. A filibuster in the Senate and a sit-in in the House give us modest reason to believe legislators might be starting to pay some attention to the overwhelming body of evidence that Americans want more gun controls. The numbers in the polls vary, but on average it is clear that some 80% of Americans want better and tighter regulations.
The most obvious targets for legislation remain limits on the sales of high-capacity magazines and assault rifles, prohibiting gun sales to those on no-fly lists, and closing loopholes the for gun sales at shows and by individual dealers. These are as obvious as the money in the wallets of NRA-supported Republicans. (And, by the way, please remember that a majority of NRA members support these proposals; it’s the crazies in the leadership who are pulling the strings, and yes, I’m talking to you, the murder weapons-enabler Wayne Lapierre.)
Briefly, no one needs high-capacity magazines for hunting and most certainly not for home defense. They are devices for killing fast and efficiently, and they are preferred by terrorists of all stripes. The opposition to this comes largely from money-hungry weapons manufacturers, supported by the NRA. It a policy of greed over common sense, and it’s a tragedy for the American people. These magazines need to be abolished from public sale. And so do assault rifles. Even well-trained military men and women say thee are not needed for hunting or home defense. To the contrary, they are the preferred weapons of terrorists and wannabes, and while prohibiting their public sale will not stop all murders in this country, this action will help to curb such wanton killing.
As for closing loopholes on gun sales, this is no less obvious. It’s not taking guns away from anyone, it’s just mandating that potential gun buyers at shows meet the same qualifications for a purchase required at gun stores. This is in no way onerous to anyone, and no one’s rights re being violated. Again, it’s merely common sense.
And finally, those no-fly lists. Let’s note there are over 1 million people on thee lists, but only about 15,000 American citizens. According to a 2014 FBI review, the accuracy of the lists has gotten better, and means for removing inaccurately placed people have improved. But here’s the bottom line: Having a few people finding their Second Amendment rights limited in some ways is far less offensive than finding thousands of people murdered because of abuses.
It’s way, way past time to begin righting these wrongs. May we hope that more members of Congress are slowly discovering their spines stiffening as they consider the welfare of their country over the partisan interests of one murderously demented lobby group.
And we haven’t even begun to discuss what the Second Amendment REALLY means…..