Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More on the gun control conversation

Yesterday, I posted that the horrible tragedy at VaTech represented an opportunity to discuss control. It appears the right wants nothing to do with such a conversation; they think gun control sucks and want to keep the dirty gummint off our gun racks.

Here are a pair of comments I got when I posted on Digg yesterday.

Perhaps if the gun control movement wasn't a pack of blatantly dishonest demagogues leading masses of ignorant, emotion driven dupes threatening (and often acting on the threat) of destroying liberty and persecuting the tens of millions of law-abiding, gun-owning, Americans, we could have a civil conversation. But I doubt that.

And this pithy reply

Sure, but it'll be short. The first time you disagree with me, I'll pull out my 9mm and blow you away.

Instapundit blames gun control laws. If only professors and students were packing, so many people would be alive.

I somehow think these are mainstream right wing views. Because it gets even loonier:

Early details about the horrific school shooting at Virginia Tech strongly indicate that these events represent a Columbine-style black-op that will be exploited in the coming days to push for mass gun control and further turning our schools into prisons.

So, like I said its time for a conversation. My POV is hunt your little ass off with rifles. OTOH, I don't like or see the need for handguns in our society. However, with - what is the number? - 100,000,000 guns in circulation, it will be tough to really do much of anything. At least until there is political will to do so.

Did I mention political will? That's something the dems have in short order right now when it comes to gun control. This cowardly stance seems odd. Polls show strong majorities - or pluralities favor tougher restrictions on guns. Look at the numbers - sentiment on gun control is consistent over time.

The problem is gun owners care more about keeping their guns than gun control advocates do about limiting the supply of guns and ammo. Gun owners are widely credited with many big electoral wins over the years, such as when George Deukmejian upset Tom Bradley for the California governorship in 1982.

Again, I'm trying to start a responsible conversation here. The right wingers seem to care only for polemics. Its really too bad.


Miss Politics said...

I am finding it quite difficult to understand why gun control is such a big issue in the US. Is it the gun lobby? Is it economics? What exactly is the problem and why can't something be done to limit gun ownership?

Im in Australia and when I see what is happening in the US with the gun situation I just shake my head.

The tragedy that unfolded at the Uni in Virginia was completely avoidable. It is easier to buy a gun in Virginia than it is to get a drivers permit in Melbourne. That's insane.

Surely politicians can see that the current policies are a death trap?

Some may feel that its not for me to say but really gun ownership is currently out of hand and more safeguards need to be put into place.

Miss Politics said...

Oh and for the person who feels that limiting gun control equals turning schools into prisons. That is rather far fetched and an extreme position to be taking.

We don't have mass shootings in our schools here in Australia. In fact we actually don't have shootings in our schools here full stop (save one or two incidents over the past ten years or something).

As I understand it the gun laws in Virginia allow any person to purchase a gun quite easily and enough ammunition to kill a small town of people.

Owning guns is not necessary. Get rid of them.

Ron West said...

You raise some excellent points. Here's an opinion piece that may help you understand the American mentality:


Miss Politics said...

It is a very big shame that politicians are unable to show leadership on this issue. Surely a strong arguement could be put forward in relation to gun control? The statistics in the States on gun deaths/injury was absolutely appaling.

The question does need to be raised regarding the reasons behing gun ownership. I wonder why people feel that they need a gun? Where I live crime against people certainly do occur though I don't feel compelled to lobby for access to a gun. In fact I would feel less safe if I knew that people could just purchase a gun willy nilly.

Is American society so frightful? Surely the vast majority of people are kind and wouldn't be out there killing, raping etc. Why are guns needed in everyday households? What do people fear so much?

It is sad for me to watch the news and see so many young lives lost. Clearly many people have been affected and despite all of this I have not heard a single mainstream politician question gun ownership nor have I seen any commentary aside from everyday bloggers that calls for a debate into the issue.

To be sure if I ever came to America I would be afraid that I would get shot by some person with a bee in his/her bonnet. Our perception here is that gun ownership and gun laws are out of control in America.

I hope that someone has the courage to do something about it. With Bush have an all time low approval rating maybe the Democrats could show some leadership. It wouldn't be hard to convince most people. The statistics speak for themselves. When you compare those statists with countries who have strict gun ownership laws you can certainly win the hearts and minds of the people.

TomCat said...

MP, it's mainly that the NRA had deep pockets to the extent that they have so many politicians on both sides of the aisle bought and paid for that making inroads is unlikely. It's easier to get a gun than it is to get a driver's license here in the US too.

Ron West said...

I'd also add that Michael Moore's movie Bowling for Columbine does a great job of explaining why guns are what they are to the American pyche. Its a great flick.

Miss Politics said...

Yes I have seen the movie and whilst it was excellent I was not sure if it captured the root of the problem.

I have not ever visited America nor do I have any American friends so I was just checking to see what you thought.

Oh and I quick note you will notice that I made rather negative comments in regards to America at times. I love American people. Its just that their Governments foreign policy really sucks big time. What I'm trying to say is that its not the people but the policies.

I'm also quite perplexed at the medias decision to air that footage of the VT murderer.