Tag Archives: NRA

More guns = more violence

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is quoted asserting that given the vast number of guns in American society, we should be “the safest country on Earth.”

Well, we aren’t. Not by a long shot.

Yet the National Rifle Association, at its annual meeting this weekend, is singing the same, tired mantra that the explosion of gun violence isn’t a “gun problem.” It is a “mental health problem.” It’s a “societal problem.” Donald Trump, the indicted ex-POTUS, told the NRA it’s a “spiritual problem.”

I will agree that all those factors have contributed to the violence. Yet the common denominator in all the massacres that have occurred in this country continues to be guns and the ease with which nut cases are able to acquire them.

The NRA and their Republican toadies in Congress are on the wrong side of history and of public opinion with their continual resistance to any reasonable legislation that could deter loons from obtaining guns and killing people.

Universal background checks are popular among most Americans, even most Republicans. That hold no water with the GOP and the NRA. They lean on the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which references a “well-regulated militia” as “being necessary to the security of a free State.” Can someone justify that the founders’ assertion that a well-regulated militia means any knuckle-dragger who’s able to purchase a firearm?

I continue to believe that there are legislative solutions that can be implemented that do nothing to infringe on law-abiding citizens from owing firearms.

Except that the NRA adheres to the all-or-nothing approach to interpreting the Constitution. The gun lobby’s stubborn resistance is going to get more Americans killed.

More guns mean more death and mayhem.


Now it’s Nashville …

Nashville, Tenn., has joined the lengthy and growing list of communities scarred by random gun violence … but this tragedy has a twist, of sorts.

The shooter was a woman, a transgender individual whom police shot to death shortly after she took six lives.

Yes, I fear we are getting numb to the violence that keeps erupting. That the shooter was a woman is in itself a remarkable change from the lengthy history of these shootings in the United States. They all had been men prior to today’s tragedy.

This case is going to cause a lot of head-scratching, let alone mourning for those who perished.

But here again, we are facing the prospect of more resistance among federal and state lawmakers to enact legislation that makes it difficult for troubled individuals to put their hands on weaponry.


Will this tragedy move Congress?

The question is being asked all across the country: Will the Michigan State University slaughter of three students and the wounding of five others produce meaningful legislation that will curb gun violence?

I believe I have the answer.

It is no. It won’t. Too many members of Congress are too beholden to the gun lobby to enact any sort of semi-aggressive legislation that would stem the epidemic of gun violence.

The latest shooting in East Lansing, Mich., is the 67th such “mass shooting” in 2023. Yes. That is correct. The number of shootings so far have outstripped the number of days in the year.

This latest goon was a 43-year-old moron with no apparent ties to the school. All of the victims were — and are — students. One individual, a young female, happened to live through her second mass shooting in a decade. She was one of the children who survived the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn. Think about that for a moment, about any individual who can live to talk about two such national tragedies, having seen them both up close.

Congress is too full of political cowards for the body to enact legislation that could keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have any access to such weaponry.

Shameful … simply shameful.


Use the ‘bully pulpit’ to end gun violence

Greg Abbott has a forum called the “bully pulpit” to advance causes he deems essential. The Texas governor has used it with minimal effect to call attention to illegal immigration.

The Republican, though, needs to fire it up to talk about another key issue on the minds of parents, students and educators: gun violence in our schools.

You know what I’m talking about. The Uvalde school massacre in May remains on the top of Texans’ minds as Abbott campaigns for re-election against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.

We’re seeing campaign ads now calling attention to what Abbott has failed to do in the wake of Uvalde. He has opposed efforts to increase the minimum age for those who purchase weapons from 18 to 21 years of age. He has failed to call a special legislative session to deal forthrightly with gun violence.

O’Rourke is seeking to make Abbott’s non-response to Uvalde a campaign issue. I don’t yet know whether it is resonating with voters who are sickened by what happened at Robb Elementary School, when a lunatic packing an AR-15 rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammo walked into the school and slaughtered 19 fourth graders and two educators who sought to protect the children.

One of our nation’s greatest Republicans, Theodore Roosevelt, used to proclaim that the bully pulpit existed precisely for officeholders to further worthy causes. Protecting our children against random acts of evil certainly qualifies … yes?


Hail to this ‘good guy with a gun’

The National Rifle Association’s mantra on gun violence is that the only way to stop a “bad guy with a gun” is to put more guns into the hands of “good guys.”

It’s a bogus argument, given the infrequency of good guys responding in times of peril. However, this week, a good guy with a gun did so and I want to offer a shout-out to the young man who took out the shooter at an Indiana shopping mall.

His name is Elisjsha Dicken, a 22-year-old from Seymour, Ind., who was shopping at the mall with his girlfriend when a lunatic opened fire. The gunman killed three people before Dicken shot him to death.

While Dicken is being hailed as a hero by police and bystanders who watched it happen, I want to caution against relying too heavily on these kinds of circumstances. I would hope that more “good guys with guns” would deter shooters from opening fire in the manner we have seen in all too many cases. Tragically, they don’t.

As Fox News reported: Dicken’s attorney, Guy A. Relford, said his client acted heroically in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“He is a true American hero who saved countless lives during a horrific event that could have been so much worse if not for Eli’s courage, preparedness and willingness to protect others,” Relford said.

Yes, he is a hero. I salute him for acting with cool, calm dispatch.

Let’s not put too much faith in these kinds of incidents repeating themselves. Let’s face it, we hear too few of these reports already even as more citizens are packing heat while shopping at the mall.


Compromise can work

Ted Cruz keeps demonstrating why he is such a loathsome politician, suggesting repeatedly why it’s better in his sick mind to go down on principle rather than seeking common ground.

The Texas Republican junior U.S. senator was one of 34 GOP senators to vote “no” on a bill crafted in part by his Texas Republican colleague, John Cornyn.

Cornyn was the lead GOP negotiator on a bipartisan effort to seek legislative remedy to the gun violence that continues to break our hearts, such as what happened not long ago in Uvalde.

OK, the bill ain’t perfect. It’s a start, though, toward curbing violent outbursts.

The National Rifle Association, naturally, has condemned the effort. The NRA doesn’t want anyone to mess around with what it says are constitutional guarantees of firearm ownership. Except that the bill doesn’t stop law-abiding Americans from owning a firearm. Ted Cruz is in the NRA’s hip pocket.

The Texas Tribune reports: The legislation does not restrict any rights of existing gun owners — a nonstarter for Senate Republicans. Instead, it would enhance background checks for gun purchasers younger than 21; make it easier to remove guns from people threatening to kill themselves or others, as well as people who have committed domestic violence; clarify who needs to register as a federal firearms dealer; and crack down on illegal gun trafficking, including so-called straw purchases, which occur when the actual buyer of a firearm uses another person to execute the paperwork to buy on their behalf.

U.S. Senate advances bipartisan gun legislation backed by Cornyn | The Texas Tribune

Is this the stuff of radicalism? Hardly. It’s a reasonable start.


Gun deal appears done

U.S. Senate Democrats and Republicans have come together to approve a deal that takes some important baby steps toward curbing the gun violence that has claimed so many innocent lives.

It isn’t the perfect deal. Then again, as the saying goes, senators sought to avoid letting “perfection become the enemy of the good.”

The package does a number of good things. As the Detroit News reports: The legislation would toughen background checks for the youngest firearms buyers, require more sellers to conduct background checks and beef up penalties on gun traffickers. It also would disburse money to states and communities aimed at improving school safety and mental health initiatives.

It isn’t perfect. I would have liked to see increasing minimum age requirements for buying firearms and strengthened universal background checks.

However, what has come out of the Senate deal negotiated by a bipartisan group of lawmakers is better than what we had already.

Which was nothing.

President Biden is going to sign the bill when it arrives in the Oval Office. The proposed legislation isn’t all that he wanted, either. However, he served long enough in the Senate to understand that compromise at times is the only way to achieve important goals.

Progressives want more legislative remedies. Archconservatives want nothing done. Neither extreme is correct.

The best answer lies in the vast middle ground. Senate negotiators have cobbled together a decent start on the quest to restore sanity in a nation plagued by senseless gun violence.


Gun lobby digs in on age requirement?

You have to be 21 years of age to buy a beer, a jug of wine or a mixed drink at your favorite watering hole.

To be emancipated from parental control? That’s generally accepted at age 21.

Some insurance companies won’t sell insurance to you until you turn 21, unless you’re in school.

What, then, is the reason we don’t require someone to be 21 years of age to purchase a firearm? The issue has burst onto the forefront in the wake of recent spasm of gun violence. The moron who shot those 19 precious children and two of their teachers to death in Uvalde turned 18 and then purchased an AR-15 rifle right after his birthday; he bought a second one days later.

President Biden has called on government to increase the age from 18 to 21. Republicans — naturally! — are digging in against even that modest notion.

The GOP is marching to the cadence called by the gun lobby.

These politicians are acting disgracefully.


Congressman quits … because he showed common sense!

An outrageous political development has just occurred that demonstrates how totally off the rails the once-great Republican Party has flown.

U.S. Rep. Chris Jacobs, a New York Republican, has ended his re-election bid because — and hold onto something with both hands — he said he favored a ban on assault rifles, a position that enraged GOP officials in his state so much that Jacobs has been forced to end his public service career.

Jacobs made the statement after the Uvalde school massacre and the Buffalo shopping market carnage.

“I want to be completely transparent of where I am in Congress. If an assault weapons ban bill came to the floor that would ban something like an AR-15, I would vote for it,” he said, according to Spectrum News 1. What’s more, Jacobs said he would favor increasing the minimum age of people purchasing a firearm from 18 to 21 years old.

That was too much for New York conservatives to handle. Jacobs, by the way, represents an area of suburban Buffalo, so he feels the community’s grief deeply.

What in the name of political sanity has gone wrong here?

According to The Associated Press: “The last thing we need is an incredibly negative, half-truth-filled media attack funded by millions of dollars of special interest money coming into our community around this issue of guns and gun violence and gun control,” he said, according to footage of his announcement. “Therefore today I am announcing I will not run for the 23rd Congressional District.”

GOP Rep. Jacobs to retire after backing assault weapons ban (msn.com)

This is an utterly insane development in the growing debate over gun violence in this country. A House member speaks honestly and candidly about his views on gun violence and he is then forced to withdraw because his views anger the rigid adherents to a philosophy that is on the wrong side of history.



Don’t stop trying, governor

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decided to stay away from the National Rifle Association annual convention in Houston, but he delivered a piped-in message from Uvalde, where he was visiting with the grief-stricken community seeking to recover from the rampage of a madman.

He then said something to NRA conventioneers that I found a bit disturbing. Abbott said the laws we have on the books already would not have stopped the shooter from killing those 19 children and two teachers. “They don’t work,” he said.

Oh really, governor? Here’s a thought: How about continuing to look for legislative solutions that would work?

Gov. Abbott seemed to my ears to be waving a flag of surrender. As if to suggest there isn’t a legislative solution to be found. What nonsense!

There’s a bill called House Bill 8, which the U.S. House approved a couple of years ago. It calls for mandatory background checks for every firearm purchased, even those bought at gun shows. It has been stalled in the Senate. Indeed, Golden State Warriors head basketball coach Steve Kerr aimed his barbs this week at the 50 Republican senators who refuse to enact the bill. His frustration is visceral … and I feel the same way.

That’s one piece of legislation that needs to become law. Would HB 8 solve the issue once and for all? Oh, probably not. However, it well might deter someone from committing a heinous act. Isn’t there value in that?

Yes. There is. Therefore, I refuse to accept the notion put forth by Gov. Abbott that gun-control laws “don’t work.”