It was interesting to watch Obama’s news conference after the campus shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. This was the 15th or 16th time that he had to stand up at a podium and talk about another tragic slaughter at a school, or a college, or a military reservation, or a movie theater, or a shopping center.
You could see that Obama was really pissed. And this from the guy who legendarily never loses his cool.
And why not? Chris Harper Mercer, the latest insecure narcissistic young twerp to go on a campus massacre is reported to have legally purchased 13 handguns, six of which were with him during his rampage.
Part of the problem is that people who are pro-gun rights tend to be much more passionate about the issue that those of us who are pro-gun control. This is well known among lobbyists and political types.
Take me for example: I’m generally pro-gun control, but I also have a lot of sympathy for people who want to protect themselves. So, I have sympathy for the woman who wants to carry a pistol in her purse so that she can protect herself from attack. I have sympathy for the rural farmer, who feels he needs a shotgun to watch over his farm. I also have sympathy for the hunter, who wants to have a gun for the “sport” of hunting.
Of course, we’ve gone well beyond that here in the United States. Nobody needs to have 13 guns. Nobody needs to have assault weapons, whose primary function is – and here’s a shock – to be used to assault people in a military-style scenario.
The National Rifle Association is not a mainstream organization; it is an extreme, fringe organization. Or it would be, in every country on Earth, other than the United States.
The NRA opposes any kind of regulation of guns whether those regulations are reasonable or not. It’s as if any compromise with reason at all is going to bring the deluge. Or maybe the rapture.
Let’s look at some of the current policies that the federal government follow, recently identified by Pro Publica, and which are the consequence of NRA lobbying:
- A federal firearms trace database is off-limits to the public.
- The military can’t impose additional regulations on service members who own guns.
- You can carry a gun inside a national park or check a gun when riding Amtrak.
- The gun industry is shielded from many lawsuits involving criminal misuse of guns.
- Congress has removed federal funding for firearms-related research.
It’s crazy. It’s crazy to have policies like that. Compare that, by the way to the hysteria about abortion. There’s been a graphic going around on Facebook which exposes the hypocrisy of the situation in this way:
|How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion – mandatory 48-hour waiting period, parental permission, a note from his doctor proving he understands what he’s about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence, and an ultrasound wand up the ass (just because)? How about we close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun? How about we make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones who were shot to death, people who call him a murderer, and be him not to buy a gun?|
Now, that really would be interesting, and you can imagine the outcry that would produce. But there it is, in one capsule, demonstrating the absurdity of our politics.
Republicans will complain that Obama and gun control advocates are “politicizing” the situation. Don’t you believe it!
The situation was politicized years ago by the National Rifle Association. That’s where it was politicized. Now it doesn’t really matter, because nothing is going to happen on gun control. Astute observers of the political scene are already acknowledging that.
You know, when the Newtown shootings occurred in Connecticut a few years back, there we people soothing themselves with the idea that at least these children would “be in heaven.”
Except there is no heaven.
These children are just dead.
There is no silver lining. Their lives weren’t even sacrificed for reasonable gun control legislation.
Their lives were sacrificed for no reason at all.
And until we get a grip on that, and how we’ve all been a bunch of chicken-shits in the face of the National Rifle Association, nothing is going to change.
Obama was right to be angry. We should be angry with him.