I was deliberately quiet for the weekend. I wanted to think, and to mourn for those lost in Newtown CT. Yet my initial political thoughts have held up for 48 hours, so here goes...
We need to move quickly on something meaningful to address this violence. The NRA has not gotten beat in this town since...when? the original assault weapons ban? A long time. We need to acknowledge that this is a complicated issue, but that there are two things we can do right away:
- Limited ban on some hardware
- Make it possible to study gun violence again
Get rid of some of the worst hardware: high count magazine clips, armor piercing exploding ammo, military assault weapons. I'm sorry gun lovers: these are only used for killing people, and they aren't home protection devices. For those signing the new secessionist petitions, when you take up arms against the United States, you are just going to have to kill us a little slower. Something under, say 50 rounds per minute. But this will have to be a limited (in scope) proposal; I'm still not sure this is even possible.
What I really want is to take the NRA and allies to task and whup them on the fact that they are so extreme that it is virtually impossible to conduct any studies on the causes of gun violence in the US. Here is the NRA bragging on their own site about banning funding for what they call "junk science:"
And here is a more explanatory view from the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/us/26guns.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 about how difficult NRA lobbyists have made it to study gun violence. Don't know about you, but as folks spin out gun control, mental health, security at schools, and a bunch of other answers, I am very ready to state that I do not know how we make this stop. Some immediate changes to our gun laws can limit the damage, but we need to do a lot more. And do I want my government to be able to fund real research into gun violence and all these corollary issues? Hell yes.
THIS is where we beat back the NRA. And it's high-damn time.