Thursday, June 16, 2016
The United States of Guns & Ammo
I was watching Rachel Maddow the other night, and she made at least one great point about gun control regulation.
The NRA doesn't want a watch list used to prevent somebody from getting a gun. They say the government could just put anyone it damn well pleased on that watch list--terrorist or not--and deny that person a weapon.
So Maddow suggested--and I'm paraphrasing--"Ok, so how about the FBI receives an alert any time someone on the watch list buys a gun?" This wingnut who murdered 50 human beings bought his gun 12 days before the massacre. What if the FBI could have gotten a text (or a notification!) and checked-in sometime throughout those 12 days? Given this guy a second look?
Would a limited bill like that at least win over the Reasonable Republican(s)?
It seems we might find out soon. After one of the longest filibusters in U.S. history, it seems Republicans in Congress are at least willing to put such a measure to a vote.
Maybe that still comes too close to spooky scary Minority Report-esque precognition for an organization as paranoid as the NRA to consider.
You either "violate" the "2nd amendment," or the 4th amendment, against unwarranted searches. In any case, it's a sad new low we've sunk to as a people if the best we can do after even more unnecessary bloodshed is say, "We'd still give him the gun, but we'd watch him!"
My "Middle Ground For Gun Control?" article reads like a comedy sketch right now. My satirical short play feels like it could happen somewhere in America tomorrow. Strange how time changes things. My occasional co-blogger, Robbie Republican, seems to be busy advising Donald Trump.
Welcome to the United States of Guns & Ammo, bought and paid for by the NRA.
Is there reason to hope that one day, we'll be able to keep guns out of the hands of murderers? Evan Wolfson seems to believe. Since 1983, he was at the forefront of the movement urging the government to recognize same sex marriages. Through a systematic offensive that engaged in debate on all levels of American political discourse, the goals of the gay community were finally realized in last June's Supreme Court decision.
The same strategy can work for sensible gun control, says Wolfson. "You never say you can’t do it. You never say it can’t happen. You never the give the opposition the satisfaction of walking way from the fight. You always have to be creating space for the decision-makers to rise to fairness, and to not have an excuse for inaction."
One key difference between the fight for gay rights and the fight for wackos not to get guns... Americans weren't getting slaughtered in the meantime.
"We will continue the pressure, and we will mobilize," Wolfson says. "Meanwhile, there is a cumulative effect. And if it didn’t crest after Newtown, it will keep accumulating."
How many lives will it take?