So today the president rolled out his initiative on curbing gun violence. I have to say at the outset that this, of course, is a good thing. He's going to do everything he can via executive order--I think there are 23 of them total that in general stiffen the gun laws that already are on the books. But he needs congressional action to do the really heavy lifting: expansion of background check requirement to purchase guns, reinstatement of the ban on assault rifles, a limitation on the size of ammo magazines, prohibition of the sale of armor-piercing bullets, and more.
Rachel Maddow went on and on about how comprehensive this package is and how bold of the president to be pushing this. It was the same refrain all over the liberal network MSNBC. Well, time out for just a minute. Let me again emphasize that I want every single one of these proposals to pass. I want the whole Obama package to pass, but let's not lose our heads over this. For one thing, have you caught the label being applied to these measures? These are "common sense" proposals, right? As if anything beyond them would violate common sense. And then there's this: during the course of his remarks, Mr. Obama said that he believes that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. What!? We are now going endorse the reading of the amendment by the Roberts Supreme Court and so dear to the hearts of the gun nuts and the NRA? Since when does any self-respecting progressive thinker buy that? I'm sorry, that gets me off on the wrong foot with this. And it leads me to my main point.
Newtown is what's galvanized Obama. He's had his nose in the political wind on this gun issue since he's been in public office and only now did he catch a whiff of favorable scent. Before now he has not had the balls to do anything about guns other than do what all the other spineless politicians do when a bunch of innocent people get blown away, either in an Arizona parking lot, a high school west of Denver, a Sikh temple in Michigan, or a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado--wring their hands and mouth the standard laments. Obama has never proposed to do anything about guns until this tragedy in Connecticut. He's not being bold. He's not being anything but expedient. Politicians in this country are so paralyzed and bamboozled by the NRA and gun lobby, that there is nothing, no amount of bloodshed whatever that is going to get them to do anything to control guns. Fact of the matter is, folks, this issue, this stuff about guns, has gotten so far from the purview of rational discussion that we just ought to concede to the gun nuts when these milquetoast proposals can be construed into doing something bold and comprehensive against the madness, the utter insanity, that prevails in our country on this subject.
You want something bold and comprehensive about guns? How about a ban on the possession and ownership of not only automatic and semi-automatic weapons, but handguns? The president ought to be working towards this end and at the same time praying for the opportunity to appoint at least a couple of Supreme Court justices who will favor overturning both the 2nd Amendment decision on individual gun ownership and the Citizens United decision. Alas, it looks like I've tipped my hand . . . I'm just a demented old man who has fantasies about what kind of thinking constitutes common sense.