In the wake of the horror of the Aurora massacre, President Obama addressed the need for government action to reduce gun violence, including the possibility of reinstating the assault weapons ban and tightening restriction on gun purchasers.
Predictably the hard right went nuts.
In Congress gun control will get nowhere, but the President deserves credit for taking this issue on. The radical right wing of this country has already accused the administration of staging the Aurora shooting as a way to take away people’s guns so any leadership on the issue of reasonable gun restrictions will automatically inflame them, and lets be honest here, endanger him.
But it shouldn’t. Most Americans believe in reasonable gun restrictions, including a ban on military-style civilian assault rifles like the one purchased legally and used to kill twelve innocent people in Colorado.
“I believe the majority of gun owners would agree that we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons. We should check someone’s criminal record before they can check out a gun seller. Many mentally unbalanced individuals should not be able to get his hands on a gun so easily,” he said. “These steps shouldn’t be controversial they should be common sense.”
Indeed, they should be common sense. But, thanks to the gun-sellers lobby otherwise known as the National Rifle Association, they are not. So for now it will continue to be more difficult to purchase birth control pills, Sudafed and to register to vote than to arm yourself with the sole intention of killing innocents.
Photo from brian.ch via flickr.