Archive - Jan 28, 2013

Gun Control Bingo

Today, I watched parts of the "Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Public Hearing at the Legislative Office Building about Gun Control".

While I haven't seen any talking points sent out by people supporting or opposing gun control, but it sure sounded like a lot people were reading off of one script or another.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. The only thing that stops a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun. Cars, alcohol, airplanes, etc., kill people, why don't we ban them? We need our guns to protect us from tyrants, terrorists, and home invasions.

However, a lot of what people say is contradictory, just plain false, or even nuts.

For example, people say that limiting high capacity magazines wouldn't have slowed down the shooter. However, banning high capacity magazines would make it difficult for law abiding citizens to defend their homes.

People opposed to gun control talk about 9/11 and how that didn't cause any new legislation to be quickly passed. However, the Patriot Act was passed 45 days after 9/11. Anyone who thinks that 9/11 didn't change things, hasn't flown in an airplane over the past decade. It is notable that other people opposed to gun control cite the Patriot Act as a reason they need to keep their guns.

Those who talk about cars, alcohol and airplanes would most likely be abhorred if guns were as regulated as cars, alcohol and airplanes, and we do require car owners to have insurance.

One of the great talking points is the issue of mental health, and I think that is an important point. When I listen to people saying things like "We're already close to civil war because of a certain man in the White House" and "I call about all gun owners to nullify any law" which limits gun ownership, "I don't trust the government anymore", and "the AMA has drugged our youth", I think mental health is a big issue, and I do hope that Secret Service is paying attention to some of the testimony.

I also have to wonder how many of the people who are calling for more spending on mental health are some of the same people who are calling for lower taxes and less government spending.

Then, there is the argument that no law will prevent criminals from getting guns. No law prevents criminals from doing many different things, but that doesn't mean we should have no laws. However, it seems like the common thread is that we should be making it more difficult for people who should not have guns to get guns.

This is not to say that the hearings have been without content. A spokesperson for the Police Chiefs' Association had what sounded like well thought out suggestions on how to combat gun violence. Likewise, the spokespeople for the Connecticut Council of Municipalities talked about about what efforts were most likely to have a real effect on gun violence in our state.

Perhaps the most interesting was the spokesperson for the National Shooting Sports Foundation who exercised some sophistry to try and dance around comments from Sen. Williams. Sen. Williams called him out on it, but it struck me as if the NSSF has about as little credibility the NRA. On the other hand, the spokesperson for Sturm and Ruger actually spoke persuasively about trying to improve gun safety and wanting to work with the legislature.

I wish more people would speak like the Police Chiefs, the Connecticut Council of Municipalities and work together to find ways to make our country truly safer.

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