Sunday Reflections 1/16/11 01/16/2011
A week's gone by since Jared Loughner fired 30 rounds into a Safeway supermarket crowd gathered to hear Gabby Giffords, Congresswoman from Tuscon, AZ, and we've all been exposed to various political pundits' takes on what can be done to prevent another senseless gun attack on innocent people. Many voices have placed blame on the Tea Party for inspiring the 22 year-old lunatic to commit the act he did last Saturday morning. I'm not going to do that, although I'll say one thing about Sarah Palin's speach about the issues concerning Arizona that's been broadcast all week on the nightly news: She's not responsible for this in any way whatsoever. However, placing a bullseye on a state on a map to make a point during a political speech is careless at best, unwise at worst, and misleading somewhere in the middle of it all. A foolish, third-grade "show-and-tell" type action and a strategy unbecoming of someone seemingly preparing to run for the nation's highest office in 2012.
President Obama is enjoying a surge in his approval ratings after a flourish of activity at the end of December (53%, NBC Nightly News, 1/14/11). But I want to backtrack to a tme before he took office. The Assault Rifle ban expired in 2004; Senator Obama supported renewing the ban. During the primaries, however, both Obama and chief rival Hillary Clinton avoided tackling gun control issues like the Bubonic Plague and Black Death wrapped all in one. The only legislation on the issue he has proposed and approved of as president allows people to transport guns on Amtrak rails, and you can carry a firearm into a national park. The Brady Gun Control Coalition gives him all "Fs" on the topic.
Currently 33 states allow citizens to purchase firearms (from handguns to assault rifles) from private owners, whether it be at a gun show or in someone's living room, without any sort of background check or license. You do the math. The Second Amendment states that a citizen has the right to bear arms when involved in a "well-regulated militia," in other words, when enlisted in the National Guard as regards to our times.
The President doesen't want to piss off the NRA before the 2012 election. He did advocate change during his history-making campaign, yet, regarding the disarming of our nation, he's maintaining a safe stadstill.