Archives

Uncategorized

The web is, of course, full of thoughtful pieces (and not so thoughtful pieces) about Friday’s tragedy.

Nicholas Kristof’s column in the New York Times was a definite keeper.

IN the harrowing aftermath of the school shooting in Connecticut, one thought wells in my mind: Why can’t we regulate guns as seriously as we do cars?

The fundamental reason kids are dying in massacres like this one is not that we have lunatics or criminals — all countries have them — but that we suffer from a political failure to regulate guns. Read More

Uncategorized

Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald tells it like it is in this column that was reprinted in the Charlotte Observer this morning:

Can we finally say the thing we have not said so far?

Last week, a white supremacist shot up a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, killing six people and wounding three. It is considered likely that the shooter mistook the Sikhs, whose men wear beards and turbans, for Muslims. The massacre came a few weeks after a characteristically baseless charge by Michele Bachmann and several other conservative legislators that a Muslim aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ties to Islamic extremism.

The juxtaposition of those two events is emphatically not meant to suggest Bachmann somehow “caused” the Wisconsin rampage. No, the point is that we are looking for terror in all the wrong places. Or, perhaps more accurately, that we are not looking for it in all the right places. Read More

Uncategorized

Even before the tragedy in Colorado last week, significant majorities of American gun owners (and even National Rifle Association members) supported tougher gun laws in the U.S.

As reported by the folks at Think Progress, both groups strongly support tougher laws, including requiring people to notify police when their firearms are stolen and placing modest regulations on “concealed carry” permit holders. The findings come on top of other broader surveys that show Americans generally support tougher laws even as they support a general right to bear arms.

Of course, all of this is very modest. No one is suggesting or proposing any kind of significant effort to fundamentally alter the American landscape when it comes to firearms. What it does show, however, is that most Americans (gun owners and non-gun owners alike) still harbor a lot of common sense on this issue.

They realize that there must be some limits on weapons ownership. Even the most ardent gun advocate must concede, for example, that the public has a right to place limits on private ownership of artillery guns, bazookas, and bombs if our society is to remain free. And they realize that it is possible to protect gun rights and reduce the carnage on our streets. Let’s hope this simple truth sinks into the heads of our political leaders sooner rather than later.  

 

Uncategorized

This is from a solid editorial in the Boston Globe that appeared today in the aftermath of last night’s tragedy in Colorado:

“It’s possible to view these episodes as a tragic but unavoidable consequence of Americans’ right to bear arms, just as auto accidents are a price of our freedom of movement. Yet carmakers and regulators work constantly, deploying new technologies and new laws, to limit the latter danger. If tighter gun laws aren’t the answer to mass shootings by deranged individuals, Americans have to take a hard look at the other possibilities. Frisking everyone who enters a movie theater, or an office park, or anywhere else large numbers of people might gather? Deploying, on domestic soil, the kind of ingenious tactics used against Al Qaeda terrorists? Surely the answer isn’t to simply tolerate these shootings.”

In other words, to those who oppose stricter gun laws: Please show us a plan that doesn’t involve arming every American up to their eyeballs. There must be an alternative.  We cannot continue to accept these kinds of disasters as unavoidable or inevitable.