Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gun logic

In the wake of the Newtown shootings, people are struggling to come up with ways to prevent future tragedies involving mass murders by gun-toting crazies.

Some are calling for renewing the ban on military-type assault weapons and high capacity ammo magazines of the type used to gun down the victims at Sandy Hook elementary school. The previous ban was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, and expired in 2004. Previous efforts to renew the ban have never gotten out of committee.

Others have suggested that instead of banning weapons, a hefty tax be placed on certain types of ammunition. After all, without bullets, a gun is about as useful as a length of pipe in a fight. Back in 1994, Daniel Patrick Moynihan introduced a bill to impose a 10,000% tax on hollow point ammo, saying, "Guns don't kill people, bullets do." Earlier in the year, Chicago discussed imposing a 5 cent per bullet "violence tax," which ended up going nowhere.

Still others have said what is needed it a requirement that all gun owners have a gun liability insurance policy; and you'd need to show you had coverage before buying a weapon. Forbes magazine (hardly a leftist publication) points out cars owners are required to show proof of coverage as well as people applying for a mortgage  - why not gun owners? The thought is that insurance companies have the actuarial expertise to know who is a high risk owner and who isn't and would set rates accordingly.

Right after the shootings, the National Rifle Association, usually a dependably shrill voice, said they would, out of respect for the victims, refrain from making an immediate statement, and instead offer a "meaningful contribution" to the national debate.

A week later, their "meaningful contribution" turn out to be -SURPRISE!- a call for more guns in schools.

This is like saying the way to solve drunk driving deaths is by doing away with open container laws. While we're at it, let's start selling cigarettes to kindergarteners to cut down on  lung cancer deaths.

Just how many gun-carrying government employees does Wayne LaPierre think are needed at each school? And how does he propose this be paid for? Higher taxes? Or will we just sack more teachers to pay these guards and jam a few more kids in already overcrowded classrooms?

Hypervocal pointed out the Onion posted a fake news story that pretty much nailed it: "NRA Sets 1,000 Killed In School Shooting As Amount It Would Take For Them To Reconsider Much Of Anything." I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Least you forget, the NRA is essentially the lobbying arm of the gun manufacturers, and putting more armed guards will, of course, mean more sales and higher profits for the merchants of death.

Columbine High School had armed guards. And we all know how much that helped. No - I'm afraid this is more security theater, designed to distract us from the politically tough decisions that need to be made until the thought of dead children fades from the headlines.

The NRA once again proves itself to be the functional equivalent of a wife-beater; they profess they love America but there's always a reason the violence they begat isn't their responsibility -- and is always the fault of someone or something else.

The Dallas Morning News reported surges in sales of high powered weapons at local area gun shops in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, as people stockpiled more weapons in anticipation of some sort of sales ban. In the face of such paranoia, is it any wonder we can't get laws in place to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill?

If you think we need more guns rather than less in our society, look in the mirror: you are the problem.


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