Sunday, December 16, 2012

Will Connecticut Massacre Finally Lead to Meaningful Gun Control?

The horrific massacre in Connecticut on Friday (three of the young victims are pictured above) underscores the need for federal legislation on gun control.  Piece meal state by state reform - assuming backward states like Virginia with Republican controlled legislatures would even pass stricter controls - will not do what is needed because guns purchased in lax states like Virginia simply cross state lines and end up in states like New York where much more  sane gun laws already exist.  The fix must be at the national level.  The question is whether Barack Obama and other politicians will have the spine to defy the madmen in the GOP base and the NRA and finally say no more to a continuation of Old West style carnage.  No other developed nation has the regular carnage seen in America for a simple reason: civilians are not allowed to have military style weapons such as these:
Click image to enlarge
Remember this - all of the guns used in Friday's massacre were purchased legally.  Just as has been the case with every other mass shooting spree.  So please, do not repeat the NRA mantra about "law abiding citizens" being deprived of gun rights.  And no more whining about "politicizing" tragedies like the one on Friday.  These tragedies continue to occur because of political cowardice plain and simple.  A piece in the Washington Post is hopefully is accurate and just perhaps there will be enough public outrage to kick the NRA and its political whore (mostly in the GOP) to the curb and strict, sane controls that respect hunting rights (no one needs a Bushmaster rifle to hunt) will be implemented.  And whether or not gun apologists care to admit it or not, anyone who opposes new restricts is complicit in the next massacres that will surely occur if nothing is done.Here are article highlights:

Friday’s rampage in Newtown, Conn., could be a tipping point in a national debate over gun rights that has faded in recent years. Advocates pointed to three reasons why this shooting may change the climate in Washington in a way that the one at a Colorado movie theater and the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) did not.

The almost unimaginable killing of so many 6- and 7-year-olds has sparked an outpouring of public emotion; Obama is on stronger footing to champion gun-control measures now that he has been reelected and will never again face voters, and the National Rifle Association has been weakened after spending millions of dollars backing candidates who lost.

The scale and frequency of mass shootings has grown so extreme that gun-control advocates believe they now have a strong case to make to enact strict restrictions on automatic weapons. Their challenge, though, will be turning the latest wrenching moment into a winning legislative strategy.  That, they say, requires presidential leadership.

Obama, in his statement Friday responding to the Connecticut shooting, sounded angry and resolved as he recounted a string of recent incidents of gun violence.

“If having dozens of people gunned down in an elementary school doesn’t motivate Washington to do even the easy things they can do, it’s not clear what will,” said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group chaired by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) that represents 750 mayors across the country.

Kristen Rand, legislative director for the Violence Policy Center, a gun-control advocacy group, said she senses a change in the political atmosphere. “The general public is reaching the point of being fed up, and I think this will push it over the edge,” she said.

Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn.) said in a statement Saturday that “to do nothing in the face of continuous assaults on our children is to be complicit in those assaults.”  .   .   .   .  Among the measures that Larson and other Democratic lawmakers have suggested are requiring background checks for all gun sales, closing the terrorist watch-list loopholes, banning
high-capacity ammunition magazines and reinstating the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

The article goes on to quote the typical gun apologist bullshit dished out by Republicans in particular:

 Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), the fourth-ranking House Republican, said Congress should be “careful” about suggesting new gun laws.

“We need to look at what drives a crazy person to do these kind of actions and make sure that we’re enforcing the laws that are currently on the books. 

I'm sorry, but I have more respect for the most tawdry whore than I do for Ms. Rodgers and her similarly spineless cohorts in the GOP and Democrats who accept NRA money like Harry Reid.  They dance around and refuse to accept the simple proposition that NO ONE needs assault weapons and, if one is crazy enough to be buying them to "plan for the worst" like Adam Lanza's mother is alleged to have done, then they are likely too crazy to be allowed to have such weapons. 

And those of us in the LGBT community need to acknowledge that the vast majority of the nuts in the NRA and the circles of their political supporters are the same folks who hate us and want us criminalized.  There's a reason why the GOP adopts positions on "God, guns and gays."

No comments: