23 February 2010

Gun Control Now

From the broken record archives of my Jewish soul.

What is with the insane attachment to guns in our country?

What is so great about America--with its lack of health care, its diminishing educational achievements in math and science, its increasing gaps between rich and poor, its millions of homeless people and its pornographic obsession with burning fossil fuels in ever-larger four-wheeled monstrosities--that we have to go around saying it's our Constitutional Right to "bear arms" with assault weapons, unlicensed weapons, semi-automatic weapons?

What? What is so great about what we have achieved that we literally have nothing better to do other than think of ways to carry around machines that kill people?

In no particular order:

1. The New York Times Tuesday evening story about the Obama Administration NOT pushing for more gun control. This has opened the window for states to loosen controls, which will increase guns, which will increase death. Leave the rhetoric at the door, please. Statistics support gun control.

2. These characters from Sussex, Wisconsin, my home state, who gathered to celebrate their allegiance to their killing tools. Now, when we played baseball and basketball in that part of the state in high school, that was always the time of year we could expect to hear the words "kike" and "nigger" hurled at our players. The passionate connection between a love of violence and a hatred of others often goes hand in hand. I'm not necessarily drawing the connection but I am *implying* a connection. There's a slight difference that will require some intensely subtle intellectual maneuvers--try, people, try.

3. In Queens, a husband and father killed his wife and daughters before killing himself. The Daily News covers it HERE and in the Times reporting, we have the added detail that this man didn't have a permit for the gun and a history of mental illness. This is nothing less than total insanity. How does our Constitution protect such behavior? Why does devotion to a debatable principle--the *right to bear arms* trump the *right to life*?

We need stronger gun control laws. Period. Our devotion to violence is a sin.


Amanda Leath said...

I am 100% in favor of tougher gun control laws, but I don't think your third point supports the need for stronger laws -- the man did not have a permit to begin with so tougher laws would not have prevented him (or anyone who unfortunately wants to get a gun without following the existing laws) from getting one. In fact, some people could argue that more crimes with guns are commited by those who get guns illegally rather than those who are licensed to carry guns, so limiting the permits would not have an impact on violence (again, I'm not advocating this position, I'm just pointing out it can be made).

Andy Bachman said...

Gun control laws prosecute sellers as much as buyers. The onus is on those selling guns "illegally" which is easier to do with weak or no gun control laws. That's the issue. John Doe didn't have a permit--so his gun is illegal. I get that. But often, he bought it at a gun show or store where the seller looked the other way. That's the issue.