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December 18, 2012
Let's Have a National Discussion, but Let's be Honest
Gun control legislation, or talk about it, is making its way across the nation. As expected, opportunists and hypocrites in Congress (and there are lots of them) are scrambling over each other to be first in line to share in the afterglow of the horrific tragedy that took place last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut.
Take Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY), for example. In an article for today's American Thinker, Tom Thurlow points out that Schumer has a conceal carry permit and armed guards for protection. Even so, Schumer referred to the Newtown massacre as a "tipping point" where we might actually get something done [on gun control legislation]:
That's what scares me. We might get something done, but it will be the wrong thing. Thankfully, Schumer admitted that there are two sides to the gun control issue. That's something that many Democrats in Congress don't realize. In their world, private gun ownership by ordinary citizens is the problem, and the Second Amendment to the Constitution be damned.
Proving once again that he won't let a crisis go to waste, President Obama promised to make reducing gun violence a high priority in his second term:
I wish the president had talked about violence in our country in its many forms, but that's all it is -- wishful thinking. Even more disconcerting, the president failed to mention that gun violence is on the decline:
Our president has a habit of being late and ill-informed. Those are qualities that we don't want or need in a president, but we knew those things about Barack Obama before we re-elected him.
Filling the factual void, Thomas Sowell had this to say,
Jeffrey Goldberg identified other facts that need to be considered:
So far in the U.S., the role of entertainment titans in provoking the kind of violence that the president wants to reduce has been all but ignored. Even so, Omer Lachmanovitch, an Israeli, raised the issue, and it may attract lots of attention here before this ordeal is behind us:
Murderers become cultural heroes because they are read about, watched on television, and then emulated. Denying the role of entertainment and entertainment masquerading as news in the process of calcifying the conscience of our nation is foolish and, as we should have learned by now, dangerous.
And let's not forget about mental disorders and the drugs used to treat them. They play a crucial part in the problem and not just in the U.S. as the Chinese know all too well:
Our country is on a slippery slope to moral depravity, and it's been heading downhill for a very long time. It's foolish to focus all of our attention guns and gun ownership thinking that we can undo decades of damage by removing a tool that's used primarily for recreation and self-defense. As one astute observer pointed out, I don't know who, "In any massacre, the law-abiding are violated twice: the dead by the psychos who kill them and the living by the politicians who try to disarm them for the next psycho."
So let's get on with the national discussion, but let's be honest about the problem. Anything short of that will lead to no good.
Neil Snyder is the Ralph A. Beeton Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.
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