Some thoughts on this weekend’s mass murder–and I’m trying to not repeat the obvious here:
- Everyone is a responsible gun owner, until he isn’t anymore. From news reports, it appears the shooter bought his guns legally, and, until the massacre, he had not broken the law. How legislation that is designed to ‘promote responsible gun use’ would have stopped this is not clear to say the least.
- We do not have a gun problem, but multiple gun problems. No one needs a semi-automatic rifle that can be easily converted to fully automatic. No one needs a high-capacity clip. But most gun deaths in the U.S. are a result of handguns, not long-barrel rifles:
Overwhelmingly, in urban areas, homicides are caused by handguns–it’s not like the movies where every hardcase has a long-barrel semi-automatic. That’s what people in cities, regardless of race, worry about: someone pulling out a hidden handgun and shooting you over something stupid (an argument or a robbery), not some spree shooter. Instead of a fist fight or even a knife, someone pulls a trigger, and, bang, you’re dead. People in the suburbs, unless they’re truly paranoid, don’t worry about this. Yet handguns, far and anyway, are the leading cause of death, not assault rifles (not saying people should have easy access to those either).
- The Second Amendment does not supersede the First Amendment. Even before our Era of Massacres, in too many paces, the rule of the gun meant people could not freely move about or congregate. Freedom of assembly is more important than owning a gun.
- The ‘gun culture’ is an incredible dysfunctional culture, and it is killing us. When your ‘way of life’ or traditional pastime makes it too easy to kill, you need to change it.
- The NRA is a business lobby. They are cynically trying to sell more product. They are not defending civil liberties or any other bullshit.
- And ALEC is its stalking horse. While the NRA gets all the attention, in no small part by design, the corporate lobby ALEC does the heavy legislative lifting. We need to find a way to stop ALEC.