Worse to me, though, is the reaction of the Democratic Party because, like it or not people, you are still the party of gun control.
Marie Cocco of the Washington Post writer’s group wrote a column last week about how the Dems basically are running away from the gun control issue because they’ve managed to achieve electoral victory by avoiding it. And of course, making inroads into Virginia in the election of both Jim Webb to the Senate and Tim Kaine to the governor’s house came at the expense of denial on gun control (and, if anything, it may have helped Webb’s rep on this issue when an aide was busted while trying to bring a loaded piece into the Capitol – Webb is truly a great populist Dem who has stood tall, but even though many of his constituents would disagree, I think he has some work to do on the gun issue).
As I look a little further into this, though, I realize (not surprisingly, I’ll admit) that what is really driving this controversy, in addition to the misinterpretation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, is the revenue gun dealers generate from arms sales at gun shows and gun-related promotions.
This takes you to an article describing the reaction when President Clinton tried to prohibit any firearm sale at a gun show without a background check (and of course, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma was one of the first people to jump down Clinton’s throat on this).
This takes you to an advertisement for a company advertising concealed-carry training in anticipation of purchasing a CC license for Florida or Utah, enabling the purchaser to carry in 31 states as noted in the ad (and how shameless can these people get when using Hurricane Katrina as a rationale for owning a gun).
On the legislative front, one of the tactics used by the NRA to override state and local laws and enable anyone to carry anywhere in this country is to push for legislation exempting current and former law enforcement officers from these laws in favor of a federal exemption. This was tried in the U.S. House by Duke Cunningham in 1998 (as noted here, with an analysis from Handgun Control on an amendment to the bill and related issues here), and also in the Senate in 2002 by Orrin Hatch and Patrick Leahy (here – though Leahy is solid on a host of other issues, Vermont is definitely a pro-gun state).
I can’t think of anyone who would oppose assisting law enforcement in a matter like this. However, if you read Ted Kennedy’s dissent to the 2002 legislation, you will realize just how many holes there are in a bill like this that allow for exploitation in favor of the gun interests who won’t be happy until every citizen in this country is armed.
This situation is one that may require some kind of an independent commission, though I will admit that I’m not a big fan of that sort of thing. However, the degree of bipartisanship that will be required to work this out is something that I don’t believe we can currently obtain without it (and I am completely aware, by the way, of what a sad commentary that is on our current state of affairs).
Until we resolve the “concealed carry” issue on a state-by-state basis (only for law enforcement or officials in the criminal justice system as far as I’m concerned), here are other things we can implement in a more immediate timeframe:
- One gun a month (enough arguing about this)Because, in addition to reading about Blacksburg, I’m sick and tired of reading stories like the one in today’s Philadelphia Daily News stating that there have been 128 homicides already in the city this year, a 17 percent increase over last year.
- A nationwide ban on straw purchases
- If gun dealers aren’t going to allow background checks at gun shows, then they should be banned from selling guns at all
- A mandatory three-day waiting period for buying a gun
- A mandatory check in all states against both a federal and state database of gun records before approving a purchase
Also, did you hear about the three killings/suicides in Houston over the last four days (as noted here)?
Democrats, you are the party of gun control. Start acting like it, or you will no longer be worthy of my support.
Update: Here are the latest polling stats from Rasmussen, and it looks like Tim Kaine is going to try and close off a way to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't get anywhere near them.