Sunday, December 16, 2012

If assault weapons are banned, who suffers? ... by gimleteye

The National Rifle Association belongs to the category of conservative culture warriors who have largely succeeded in suppressing rational debate about deep substantive issues for the last fifty years -- energy policy, trade and economic policy, the military industrial complex, the relative weight of corporate power versus the individual -- by pushing forward trigger issues like women's rights, gun control, and the role of the church.

No one can argue with the NRA's success. In fact, the NRA has been so successful that it presses its agenda forward to guarantee the right of individuals to carry guns wherever and whenever; deploying laser-like focus against any political candidate who challenges its conventional, conservative wisdom.

Who is harmed by a ban against assault rifles? I have no idea.

Would a ban be effective, given the sheer volume of guns in society today? Perhaps. Perhaps not. That's not really the point.

Banning assault rifles would express a cultural value that should be common sense and even cross the political divide reinforced by deep-pocketed corporate interests.

But it doesn't. President Obama does have the chance to speak in favor of a ban, when he delivers a speech to the saddened nation and grieving communities and families in Connecticut this week. Let the American public see how Congress organizes to repel this common sense measure, even as the ideologues harangue at the edge of the so-called "fiscal cliff".

As far as the NRA is concerned, there is nowhere to go from here. You won everywhere else. You won and still can't articulate why deaths from guns are exponentially higher in the United States than any other civilized nation. The deeper truths go unexplored.

In the meantime, Americans persuaded to fork over donations to conservative groups that champion individual and Constitutional rights need to accept: the expansion of government authority -- presided over by Republican and Democratic Congresses and administrations -- make it certain that ownership of any weapon cannot protect the individual against the power of government.

Proud as we may be for the Second Amendment, its effect has crumbled under the force of technologies unimaginable to the Founding Fathers. Owning an assault weapon doesn't allow us to "keep up" with anything. It only fosters a cultural milieu in which mass killings are a sad probability.

Much better for Congress to pass a ban on assault weapons and let Americans ponder what candidates are likely to deal in a common sense way with even greater probabilities and threats than those pushed forward by conservatives to advance the last war: the culture war.


Anonymous said...

Assault and automatic fire weapons should not be sold to general public. The problem is that there are a zillion guns already out there and they will continue to be stolen and abused. Of course, there is the black-market that would pop up if u do a ban.

I don't know how to pull back on the graphic violence in the movies and in video games... But, I do know they are numbing our kids and adults to the effects of violence.

Anonymous said...

Columnist Roger Simon says " Four adults killed in Benghazi and the right wing politicizes it endlessly....twenty children murdered in Connecticut and the right wing tells us to shut up."

Po Boy said...

Why are you even discussing banning so-called assault weapons? The shooter in Connecticut used two stolen pistols for his killing spree. Why aren't you calling for a pistol ban instead?

Anonymous said...

Cocaine and Heroine are illegal to sell and posess. yet, criminals still get them.

More people in the United States are killed in car accidents than by guns. Why not ban cars?


Anonymous said...

to PO BOY You are mistaken about the weapon used. He shot the children and adults, each one multiple times with semi automatic assault rifle and the shot himself in the head with a pistol.

Anonymous said...

I think a national discussion about these issues is appropriate. I don't think name calling works for anyone. As a gun owner, the only time I've every fired my legally registered and owned hand guns are at a firing range. I do not have a concealed weapons permit because that would make even someone pro gun like me a bit nervous of something accidental happening.

Bans of any kind of anything usually don't work but do make the "black market" incredibly rich and probably make this country a bit more dangerous. It may have the reverse effect.

I'm well aware of the politics at play here. I'm also well aware of our current gun laws and do not know what type of law would have stopped this truly mentally disturbed person from doing what he did because he basically stole the weapons from his mother.

The gun train left the tracks a long time ago. What to do about keeping them out of the hands of mentally unstable people is a bigger problem.

I don't know the statistics on how many assault weapons are out there, unfortunately, and I know I'll be called a "troll", it really does go back to the "armed militia" which has been heard through the courts my entire adult life from what I remember.

Anonymous said...

Good one. Two Rooms with the same number: Why? What does the CFC get? Are they just dumb or is there an advantage to taking the county number?

Anonymous said...

This article about guns in Switzerland is quite accurate up to about then Years ago: