More Questions Than Answers?
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by Laramie Boyd
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Well, like national debt, healthcare, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and higher
taxes and wars and more wars, the current divide over gun control is another problem that may not go away for some time. But, as a
civilized nation, we mere, sometimes pathetically incapable humans, must address the issues and do the best we can to save ourselves
and future generations. There are so many questions that any attempt to legislate gun control raises that it boggles the mind. And
very few solid answers. Here are some questions and remarks about President Obama's recent proposal he outlined, for Congress and
the American public to ponder. I personally believe his suggestions are a good step in the right direction. I hope they are taken
seriously by both the Senate and House of Representatives, with a non-partisan viewpoint, if that is possible.
- If the President really believes that "Our first task as a society is keeping our children safe," why did it take 4 years and a
school shooting before he, or some prior president, addressed the problem? But certainly most people would agree with the assertion
he makes, and also that "If we can save just one child it is worth it."
- Can we safely
assume that passage of this, or any other gun-control bill, will not be the beginning of the give-them-an-inch and they will take-a-mile
scenario the government is famous for? In this case possibly removing the "right to keep and bear arms" as a Constitutional guarantee.
If the government has it in mind to alter the Constitution, and the people want that, shouldn't it be done by the book and not by
- The head of the Democratic group Third Way commented on
the President's proposal, saying "We don't think it will have much impact on gun crime." The Republican National Chairman added, not
surprisingly, "It may please a political power base, but it will not solve the problem." Shouldn't this kind of input be seriously
considered in the debates and recommendations, rather than just summarily ignored?
-Is limiting the capacity of a gun magazine (shell holder) to 10 rounds a serious effort to reduce mass killings, or just a foot in
the door to some later agenda? How about limiting rifles to a single shot at a time?
Couldn't the expired 2004 assault weapons ban be reinstated as a good first step? Did it really prevent any shooting? Is passing a
law the approach to take?
- Is it a good idea for the President to put the onus on the
people to contact their representatives and on the Congress to act on his proposal? Could he possibly be looking to throw his hands
in the air, if the proposed bill fails, and then cry "I tried. The Congress just wouldn't back me up on this." Therefore, it would
not be his fault.
- If some law is passed on gun-control, can we assume that enforcement
will follow, and punishment to fit the crime will be meted out? Or will it be the old story of "Well, it was a first offense, so we'll
go easy on the violator. How about 6 months probation?" And the law breakers are right back out on the street. Can we expect another
"3-strikes" rule where the same gun violation can occur 3 times before some fitting sentence is handed out by the courts, because
the defendant "has rights." On this issue, don't we need to put really serious penalties in place?
- President Obama's proposal identifies 4 main objectives: Keep guns out of the wrong hands, get weapons of war off the streets, upgrade
school safety, and improve mental health services. Can we expect any infringements on our Constitutional rights to meet these goals?
Will any action succeed? Maybe Harry Reid, the S enate Majority leader, has a point. He said, "The purpose of legislators is to pass
legislation, not just propose laws that have no chance of passing," No law can prevent a senseless act, but we have to keep trying.
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