Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012

On August 5, 2012, I wrote the following words:

About two weeks ago, in the aftermath of the Aurora, Colorado, shootings, various voices in media and politics said that it was inappropriate to be discussing gun-ownership rights — not the right time, too early. In the aftermath of today’s shootings in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, it seems that once again it will be too early for such a discussion.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney sounded the refrain earlier today:
“There is, I’m sure — will be, rather, a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates, but I don’t think today is that day.”
As violent event follows violent event, the logic here defies logic. Carney is of course right to say that today is not the day to discuss a piece of legislation. But his language is the language of procrastination, of endless deferral. It suggests to me J. Alfred Prufrock: “There will be time, there will be time.” And the reference to “the usual Washington policy debates” suggests a lack of conviction that anything much is going to change. But have gun-ownership rights even been a “usual” subject of debate in Washington? Not much, not lately.

President Obama was more to the point:
“As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."
And now, the president needs to lead.

Related reading
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

[My transcriptions, from clips available at CBS News.]

comments: 7

zzi said...

If Jewish store owners had guns in Nov. 1938, what would have been the outcome? "Never Again"

Michael Leddy said...

Against the apparatus of a state, I don’t think armed store owners would have much of a chance.

Berit said...

Well said!!

I have some niggling feeling at the back of my mind reminding me that I'm not a constitutional lawyer; that people throughout the country have circumstances which vary from my own (e.g. living in Wyoming, need to use rifle to scare cougars out of front lawn before departing for work in the A.M.), but I want strict and federal gun control for the us here in the U.S.

I feel the "spirit of the law"--it is a citizen's right to preserve his ability to "defend" his homestead against a group of troops trying to appropriate its assets ("Sirrah, you shall not have the contents of my stables or the Sunday Ham!)--is all but deprecated in the modern age.

The Home Arsenal neither contains weapons similar to those our modern government would use in an attempt to impinge by force, nor are its contents effective in repelling said attempt.

What do you think of stridently restricting the quantity of guns a person may own at one time (1-2) as well as the type (say a 22-rifle which only holds 2 rounds and has a cumbersome reload)? How can we incorporate a nod to our beloved framing documents while joining the modern developed world?

Michael Leddy said...

I think background checks, waiting periods, limits on the number of weapons purchased, and a ban on semi-automatic weapons would be appropriate.

Berit said...

Don't we already have those things?

Or are they often sloppily enforced? Or are most restrictive legislation on weapons state-mandated, and therefore widely varying?

Michael Leddy said...

I’m no expert here; I’d suggest looking at the FAQ on the Brady site, found on this page. It points out that there are loopholes with background checks, no limits on purchases in many states, and no federal ban on assault weapons.

Berit said...

Thanks for the informative link. I'd forgotten about the gunshow loophole and maybe never knew how serious the problem is.