‘Gun control’ doesn’t equal ‘disarmament’

I need help here.

I’m having trouble understanding how the term “gun control” has become synonymous to some Americans with “disarmament.” I am perplexed that the argument has become one of absolutes, that any form of gun control is seen by gun-rights advocates as code for “they’re coming to disarm law-abiding Americans.”


The universal background check legislation that failed in the U.S. Senate is the best example of the perversion of this debate. The background check is seen by foes of gun control as an intrusion. They say, accurately I’ll concede, that a thorough background check wouldn’t have prevented the Newtown, Conn., school massacre that left 20 children and six educators dead. It is true that the madman who did the deed took the guns from his mother – who had purchased them legally – and then killed her before embarking on his killing spree.

That argument, though, begs the bigger question. How do we stop other madmen from acquiring guns from, say, a private party or a gun dealer? Universal background checks to me seem like a reasonable option.

The gun lobby, though, has persuaded enough lawmakers that any form of tighter laws translates into some kind of Big Brother overreach into people’s homes, where they keep their guns. I believe I’ve heard the president himself say on many occasions that no one who owns a gun today will have that firearm taken away.

The intent is to seek to prevent future madmen from committing the kinds of tragic deeds that occurred in Newtown, Aurora, Blacksburg … wherever these kinds of massacres have occurred.

I see nothing in any of these proposals that translates to disarming lawful Americans.

Sanford doesn’t get it

Mark Sanford wants to return to public office after betraying the people who once elected him governor of their state.

It blows my mind that he just might get that chance.

Sanford debated Democratic opponent Elizabeth Colbert Busch in South Carolina the other night. Sanford, the former Republican South Carolina governor, has become the object of late-night comedians’ jokes, pundits’ barbs and even has been dismissed by the higher-ups in his own political party.

But he just might win the special election to Congress from South Carolina.


Why the jokes and the dissing?

Well, he had an affair while he was still married to his wife, Jenny. That’s not the worst of it – in my view – although cheating on one’s spouse is bad enough. Sanford took off for the Southern Hemisphere to frolic with his mistress while telling the world he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail.” He disappeared. He was off he grid, all the while getting paid to “govern” his state. He lied.

That was over Mothers Day weekend 2009. The word got out. Sanford was caught and the political world began its collective tittering.

Colbert Busch is a solid candidate. She reportedly did well in the debate with Sanford, who observers said needed to hit it out of the park against the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert. They also said he didn’t get the job done.

The GOP has turned its back on Sanford, who recently was caught sneaking into his wife’s home and violating a court order to stay away. The soap opera quality of this campaign almost defies description.

It’s been sort of fun watching this guy try to explain himself. But now the serious business of selecting a congressional representative is almost at hand. I hope Mark Sanford gets the boot in the backside he deserves. It’s obviously not my call. Vote wisely, 1st Congressional District residents.