Sunday, December 06, 2015

NYT: End the Gun Epidemic in America

Yesterday, the New York Times took the unusual step of running its main editorial on the front page of the paper's print edition.  The topic?  Gun control and the need to end America's insane epidemic of gun violence and the pressing need to remove military assault rifles and other weapons designed for mass killing from civilian hands.  The Second Amendment - while ill advised in my view - does not grant unfettered rights and it is time that the rights and safety of the majority of citizens trump the rights of gun fanatics and males who need to own a gun to compensate for inadequate penis size (these same nutcases probably drive large, jacked up pickup trucks for the same reason).  No other advance nation in the world has daily, yes, daily mass shootings, be cause no other advance nation has such insane gun laws.  Yes, criminals and would be terrorists might still acquire guns, but at least it would be more difficult and the ease with which large numbers of people can be murdered would be reduced..  Here are highlights from the editorial.
All decent people feel sorrow and righteous fury about the latest slaughter of innocents, in California. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are searching for motivations, including the vital question of how the murderers might have been connected to international terrorism. That is right and proper.

But motives do not matter to the dead in California, nor did they in Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut and far too many other places. The attention and anger of Americans should also be directed at the elected leaders whose job is to keep us safe but who place a higher premium on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms.

It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday.

Opponents of gun control . . . point out that determined killers obtained weapons illegally in places like France, England and Norway that have strict gun laws. Yes, they did.

But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs. It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.

It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation.

Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.

What better time than during a presidential election to show, at long last, that our nation has retained its sense of decency?

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