Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who’s for? Who’s against? Gun control

It looks like gun violence has finally gotten the attention of the two presidential candidates.  Barack Obama told an African-American group in New Orleans on July 26, that we’re lax in the control of weapons and wants to work with lawmakers to rectify this.  Mitt Romney, in the perfect National Rifle Assn. (NRA) profile, said changing laws on the issue wouldn’t prevent future incidents like the Aurora, Colo. movie shooting where 12 died and 58 were injured.

Obama and Romney on gun control
First of all, the President should be infuriated over gun violence; along with the Aurora massacre, his hometown of Chicago is currently going through the worst episodes in decades, almost exclusively within the black community.  He wasn’t.  Romney’s lame answer comes from cow-towing to the gun lobby for the votes of gun nuts.  He even mistakenly said many of the weapons used by James Holmes were obtained illegally.  They were all legal, including the ammunition.

The New Trajectory blog does an excellent job of covering the “semi-switch” in President Obama’s views on gun control with quotes from his speech.  Baldr Odinson ends by challenging the President now to turn those words into action, echoing a question many of us have about what the next steps of The White House will be.

So who’s for and who is against gun control?  You will be surprised at some that are in favor and others who aren’t.

  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), has already prepared a bill to limit the sale of high-capacity magazines like the one used by James Holmes when he killed 12 and injured 58 in the Aurora, Colo. movie theatre.

  • Arch conservative Bill Kristol said that people do have a right to handguns and hunting rifles but doesn’t think they have the right to assault rifles.

  • House Rep. Kevin McCarthy, number three Republican from California, sounds open to discussions on gun control but wants to have more facts first.

  • Another House Rep., an Oregon Democrat, feels the U.S. has given up on gun control.

  • Sen. Barbara Boxer from California says that Congress must pass sensible gun legislation.

  • Former Democratic Sen. from Connecticut, Christopher Dodd, called for more restrictions on guns and questions why Americans should be able to buy assault weapons.

  • Mitt Romney, of course, has put his support firmly behind the 2nd Amendment, a move no doubt orchestrated by wacky Wayne LaPierre of the NRA, and thinks new gun laws would not have made any difference in the Aurora tragedy.

  • New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has challenged and chastised both presidential contenders on not coming out stronger for gun control.  He comments: “I can tell you I don’t think there’s any other developed country in the world that has remotely the problem we have.

  • California Sen. Dianne Feinstein wants to have a “sane” discussion on gun control and ban assault weapons.

  • Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is in favor of a ban against large capacity ammunition clips.

  • Fox TV’s ultra-conservative Bill O’Reilly called for Congress to pass a law requiring the registration of all "heavy" weapons to be reported to the FBI because it "makes sense.”

  • Lauren Fox in US News said, there is no evidence to indicate that any existing gun law would have prevented James Holmes from doing what he did in Aurora, Colo.

  • House Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) wants President Obama to go around Congress using his executive authority to enact better gun laws.  Her husband was killed in the
    1993 Long Island Rail Road
    shooting massacre.

  • Michael Moore, Academy Award winning filmmaker’s statement says it all: "We have to see that we're a part of each other, and we have to take care of each other. The reason why they have universal health care in Canada and Britain, these other places? Because they believe if one suffers, everybody suffers," he tells the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host. "That is not our mentality, our mentality is 'I got mine, you get yours, and the hell with everybody else.'" 
Great statements on gun control by Michael Moore:

    Jason Alexander
  • Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame tweeted that he believes there should be some kind of gun control in the U.S. so that not just any “Joe Schmoe” could walk into a Walmart and purchase a weapon.

  • And it should be noted with interest that just days following the Aurora massacre, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) gathered in Salt Lake City behind closed doors to formally continue their support for the ownership and sale of assault weapons.  Read more here about the participating companies you should boycott.

  • And last, but certainly not least, there is Barack Obama’s views on gun control which have mellowed significantly since he was a Senator from Illinois.  The President must get reelected; another GOP administration in the White House and control of Congress would lead to a disaster for the U.S. in my mind.  If Obama is cooling it until his reelection in November, after which he plans to lower the boom on the NRA and pass gun control, that’s fine with me.  Only if.

It would appear that we have accumulated more than a modicum of support for gun control following the bloodbath in Aurora, Colo., which in itself is a tragedy that this issue continues to be forced into the forefront by the killing and injuring of innocent individuals.  All because of NRA head Wayne LaPierre and his leadership of lackeys and a fear-mongering reign over the organization’s membership.  But maybe this is the year and we should all be ready.

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