Gun Control Nuts Going Off Half-Cocked, Again – Addendum

Sadly, this is just getting worse. Fear-mongering nonsense is pouring out all over the place. “Surely we can do better than this,” said Obama. “We have an obligation to try.” Which would be nice if I believed by “better” he meant “better” and not “more nonsensical”.

From the Chicago Tribune:

He spoke for a nation in sorrow, but the slaughter of all those little boys and girls turned the commander in chief into another parent in grief, searching for answers. Alone on a spare stage after the worst day of his tenure, President Barack Obama declared Sunday he will use “whatever power” he has to prevent shootings like the Connecticut school massacre.

“What choice do we have?” Obama said at an evening vigil in the shattered community of Newtown, Conn. “Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”

For Obama, that was an unmistakable sign that he would at least attempt to take on the explosive issue of gun control. He made clear that the deaths compelled the nation to act, and that he was the leader of a nation that was failing to keep its children safe. He spoke of a broader effort, never outlining exactly what he would push for, but outraged by another shooting rampage.

“Surely we can do better than this,” he said. “We have an obligation to try.”

He will use whatever power he has to prevent such shootings. The man’s arrogance really seems to know no bounds at all. But he is not the only one.

From U.S. Senator (NY) Kirsten Gillibrand:

Congress has ducked a serious national debate over common-sense gun laws for too long. While there may be nothing we could have done to have stopped this deranged individual from killing and terrorizing so many people, how many more tragedies must we live through before we say enough is enough?

We have an obligation to act and prevent tomorrow’s senseless deaths by coming together and ensuring that guns stay out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.

[…]

Keeping our children safe from the scourge of gun violence is not a Republican or a Democratic principle; this is an issue for all Americans. There is no political ideology that finds this loss of life acceptable.

[…]

So we must come together around common-sense solutions. We should be able to agree that no American should have access to the high-capacity ammunition clips made for our military. We should be able to agree on closing the gun-show loophole and banning military-style weapons that have no recreational sports use.

She speaks as if she actually thinks there is something the government can do to ensure criminals do not acquire guns. Sigh.

No, we cannot agree that no American should have access to high-capacity ammunition clips. Of course they should have access to them. And seriously, “banning military-style weapons that have no recreational sports use”? The senator claims to be “someone who believes in the Constitution and an individual’s right to bear arms”, yet she seems to have missed altogether the reason for the Second Amendment and why the writers of the Constitution included the protection of owning firearms in the Bill of Rights. I suggest she look back just slightly further into history at the war, the one between England and thirteen English colonies in the New World, that preceded the writing of the Constitution.

How are people like this in public office?

Do not get me wrong. I am sure Senator Gillibrand is a good person and probably quite smart and hard working and all kinda stuff like that there. But why do people keep trotting out these ridiculous ideas that somehow we can just legislate our way to complete safety? The President’s comments and the senator’s, and the echos of them all over the media right now, are utter nonsense. Well intended, certainly, but nonsense nonetheless.

No, actually we do not have an obligation to build policy on a foundation of fearful reactions to tragedies. Our obligation, the obligation of the government is to do the opposite. That is why Congress was designed to be slow and deliberative. So that government would be prevented from rushing to do fearful and inane things. (Not that it stopped the so-called Patriot Act from being passed, but that is a rant for another day.) But here we see elected politicians trying to use fear as a reason to push through legislation that will do very little if anything to make anyone safer.

As I said in my previous post, this knee-jerk fear mongering that we have to Do Something, which occurs every time the news mentions something about people being shot by someone with a firearm, is close-minded bigotry. If you do not believe me, just look at the vast multitude of pundits who are already pushing the line that all “reasonable” people “know” we should have all these tougher, stricter and generally useless gun control laws and that only a vocal, lunatic fringe of gun fanatics is somehow preventing these laws from being passed. One might almost be forgiven for thinking this “fringe” was made up entirely of Jews or Masons or Illuminati or whatever other supposedly dark, powerful conspiracy theory group you prefer. The fear-mongering of the gun control nuts makes as much sense. I keep waiting for someone to produce a book of “The Protocols of the Elders of the NRA.”

Okay, that may be a bit of exaggeration, but it makes my point. There is no secret conspiracy keeping gun control laws off the books. And forcibly keeping firearms, including military-style weapons and assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips, from law-abiding citizens is not a common-sense or reasonable solution. No part of that will keep criminals from getting firearms, or mentally unstable people from sometimes killing a lot of other people.

As best as I recall, Timothy McVeigh did not use a firearm in his mass murder of people in Oklahoma. Neither did the Unabomber in his campaign to protest technological progress by sending bombs through the mail. (And if you want to make a liberal upset, tell them the Unabomber was a liberal.) And remember the anthrax in the envelope scare about a dozen years back?

Again, I am not saying there should be no laws about firearms or their use. But let us get serious here. Guns do not make people kill. People use gun as tools, because that is what guns are. If there were no guns, they would use other tools: knives, arrows, explosives, poisons, et cetera. The presence of guns does not create criminals or drive people to mass murder. Yes, the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, is a tragedy, but there are thousands of other gun owners who have not and will never engage in murder, mass or otherwise. Common sense solutions do not punish everyone for the actions of a relative few. Reasonable policy regarding crime involves punishing those who break the law, not those who obey the law.

So stop with the fear-mongering already. Stop the fantasy that government can take action that will ensure our children are kept safe at all times.

And no, Mr. President, the mass killing of children supposedly “year after year after year” is not “the price of our freedom”. Tragedies happening is the price of living with other humans. In other words, it is part of life. It happens. Yes, it is horrific. Yes, it is difficult. Yes, we should try to minimize the opportunities for such events. But only the naive, the ignorant and the foolish believe we can somehow prevent tragedies with enough legislation. Government cannot make the world safe for everyone. Stop pretending it can.

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