“We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom.” ~ President Barack Obama, 1/5/16
“I reject the notion that this is an acceptable price of freedom.” ~ Me, 12/4/15
“Second Amendment rights are important, but there are other rights that we care about as well. And we have to be able to balance them.” ~President Barack Obama, 1/5/16
“I reject the notion that the Second Amendment trumps all else.” ~Me, 12/4/15
I’m not accusing the president of plagiarism; I’m celebrating that someone is finally listening to me!
If you didn’t watch the speech, please do. It’s one for the ages.
The only arguments I’ve seen to his proposals are polemic, hyperbolic, and entirely predictable. The come across like prepared remarks that have nothing in common with the actual substance of his speech.
(Note: I’ve seen grown-up discussions about his use of executive action. That’s different from the meat of his proposals.)
Startling to me were two statistics:
- Almost two-thirds of gun deaths are suicide. It is known that suicide is almost always an impulsive act. In a study, 87% of survivors of near-lethal suicide attempts said they thought it over for less than 8 hours. It stands to reason that having a lethal weapon at your disposal is going to affect your outcome.
- More than 500 people died from gun accidents in 2013, including 30 children under the age of five.
Technology can assist here. As the president said, if we can make it so a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we can certainly stop them from pulling the trigger of a loaded gun. If we can make our phones secure enough that the right fingerprint is needed to unlock it, we can do the same for guns. And if we can use an app to shut our phone down when it’s lost, we can do the same with guns.
I agree with the president – if these changes can save the life of one person, they are well worth it. Despite the ginned-up hysteria, nothing the president proposes will stop a “good guy” from getting a gun. I heard an Ohio gun rights activist say in response that these new actions are horrible because they will intimidate these good guys from purchasing a gun.
If you’re too scared to go through a background check, then I’m thinking you might not have the right stuff to call yourself a good guy with a gun.
If you’re upset about the president doing this by “fiat,” look to the ineptitude of your Congress members. Just after this speech, Speaker of the House Ryan introduced yet another pointless resolution to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Yes, that even involved changing the rules first to do so, despite their henny penny cries about the reconciliation process when the other team uses it.
Make no mistake about it — this bill passage was all for show — their worst nightmare would have been for the President NOT to veto it.
How many people died of gun violence the same day as this exercise in futility?
This same group couldn’t even pass a law denying gun purchases to the people on the no-fly list. More than 2,000 approvals have been given to allow people on the terrorist watch list to purchase guns in America between 2004 and 2014.
Think about that one.
To Ryan and others I say: Get your head out of your nether-regions and start doing your job.
As the President said, Congress may be slaves to the gun lobby, but we don’t have to be.
Vote the bums out.
I’ve said in many contexts that I wish our president were as radical as the hysterical pundits paint him to be. Instead of weak incrementalism, I’m in full support of the XTC solution.
Melt the guns
And never more to fire them.
But these proposals are a start. The rest is up to us.