There's no safety in our vast numbers of guns

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Via the L.A. Times

Via the L.A. Times

Steve Lopez's column in the L.A. Times has a sub-headline that reads, "Americans' love of guns keeps growing; lawmakers are cowed."

Lawmakers are cowed.  People die because lawmakers are cowed. Children were shot to death because lawmakers are cowed. Of course, that's not the only reason, but it's well worth emphasizing.

Another reason is that we love guns. Apparently, some of us love guns more than they love people. I wonder how many of those people call themselves "pro life."

As Lopez notes:

  • We in this country have more than 300 million guns, which is nearly one for every man, woman and child.
  • In 1969, Gallup reported that 60% of Americans supported a ban on handguns. In 2011, a Gallup poll found that only 26% wanted a ban.
  • Between 2001 and 2010, about 270,000 U.S. residents died in shootings, including homicide, suicide and accidents.

Lopez goes on to say...

In this country, you can legally buy assault weapons. What does that say about us?

Think about it. We have a national legislative body that fears the clout of the National Rifle Assn. more than it worries about the consequences of allowing people to buy weapons designed for war.

My home state of California has a ban on automatic weapons.  State Senator Leland Yee, a Democrat, had introduced a bill that would have closed a loophole that makes it possible for gun owners to more quickly and easily reload their weapons. He made an effort to save lives by suggesting something reasonable and responsible.

Want to know what the reaction was?

The gun lobby had pulled out all the heavy artillery against SB 249, which was supported by the California Medical Assn. and the California Nurses Assn. Yee said he was flooded with racist, vulgar and derisive comments and caricatures, and that some of his critics told him to go back to China.

See how reasonable and responsible they were in return?

The vast majority of gun violence does not involve people with mental health issues. But when mental health services are in short supply for many people, guns are nearly as easy to buy as garden tools, and violence is used to sell music, movies and video games, the shocking thing is that we don't have more tragedies like Connecticut.

The idea of responsible gun regulation is not to kick down doors and "take away" anyone's guns. And owning more firearms wouldn't exactly be an effective defense against Big Government's drones and tanks, should they decide to use them against their own citizens the way those on the right seem to think President Obama will do.

And laws alone won't stop every massacre. But by making it a little more difficult to spray bullets at toddlers, mall shoppers, teachers, theater goers, and students like my own son, by reducing opportunities for the wrong weapons to get into the wrong hands, and by removing as many weapons of war from the streets as possible, then maybe a few more people will live to see their children grow up and even feel a little safer about their own futures.

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  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

     Lol, fair enough.

  • http://www.politisite.com/ Albert N. Milliron

     Sorry about that...

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Wow! Nobody's ever made the Gotta Laugh quip before. You're batting 1000 now.

  • http://www.politisite.com/ Albert N. Milliron

    Facts mean nothing when one can attack the individual.  I have lost all credibility? Gotta Laugh.

  • chris kraska

    I just did.  It's often a point of confusion and understandable. 

    Thanks,

    Chris

  • http://twitter.com/whatsamatta_u Paul W

    Can you blame Congress for being cowed?  Thanks to their enthusiastic, well-compensated fight to pass #NRA-friendly legislation, Congress is now outgunned millions-to-one by the very same wackos they pretended to represent.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    The "automatic weapons" was directly from Lopez. You should drop him a line, si?

  • chris kraska

    Actually California does not have a ban on "automatic weapons" (firearms that fire more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger).  Most states allow the ownership of automatic weapons, short barreled shotguns, silencers, etc.  The approval and registration process for these items is lengthy and costly and is highly monitored by the ATF. 

    Interestingly, out the quarter of a million legally owned automatic weapons (read "machine-guns") in the US exactly two have been used in the commission of a crime since the National Firearms Act of 1934. 

    Maybe a similar process of vetting, registration, etc. would be effective in lessening some of these shootings. 

    The number of shootings has been going up over the years.  Back in the 60s when every kid had a BB gun or a .22 they were a rarity.  With the advent of instant communication and breaking news every minute it seems as if it's a sort of Rube Goldberg death machine.  A shooter kills a bunch of people and someone else emulates them and so on and so on. 

    Maybe if we stopped talking about the killers and started talking about the victims we could change things somewhat.

    In the meantime I'm not disagreeing that additional restrictions on firearms are needed in some form. 

    From personal experience I think government mandated training equivalent to 20 hours in order to purchase firearms wouldn't be unpalatable to most.  Currently any idiot in the US with a driver's license, a clean record, and money can buy any firearm they like (for the most part). 

    Chris

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    You lost all credibility at "Global Warming Alarmists."

  • http://www.politisite.com/ Albert N. Milliron

    and crime keeps going down.  It's like Global Warming Alarmists.. every time it snows it evidence of Global warming.  The trend of gun crime is down and has been since 2001.  Our number of guns is not the issue.  While we do have the highest number of gun ownership in the world, our murder rate is no where near the some 32 countries above us.   There are more people killed with blunt objects in America every year than with so called assault rifles.  There are more people killed with hands and feet, than so called assault rifles... But every time there is a tragedy where families should grieve, the left goes on a gun grab.  BTW the stats came from the FBI and the UN.