Archive for the ‘gun control’ Category
By John Feehery
I actually don’t blame some Members of the Senate for threatening to filibuster the still-mysterious gun bill.
Who knows what they have come up with in the back halls of the Congress and who know what they will end up with once this bill gets to the floor.
Mitch McConnell had it exactly right when he held out the right to support a filibuster until he actually got a glimpse of the bill.
I think the whole process has pretty much stunk.
The President has moved too quickly to pass old ideas that wouldn’t have prevented the Newtown tragedy. He has done it because he doesn’t want people to forget “Newtown”.
I will never forget Newtown. Nor have I forgotten Columbine. Or the mass murder at Virginia Tech.
What I haven’t seen, though, is a comprehensive, careful and methodical approach to dealing with these mass shootings.
What I have seen is impatient politicians trying to do their best to best minimal legislation that won’t fix the problem.
The idea that makes the most sense to many Americans is one put forward by the National Rifle Association: Put armed guards in schools.
This is already being done in most urban public school districts. You need armed guards in those schools because violence is such an everyday part of life.
What we need is the same kind of report that went into the 9/11 Commission.
That Commission took a long and deep leak into the security lapses that the terrorists exploited to commit the horrific attacks on September 11th. The Commission angered a lot of people and it made a lot of recommendations that may or may not have been exactly the right thing to do.
But the fact is that we passed those recommendations and we haven’t had a major terrorist attack on our soil since that time. There may or may not be a causal effect, but it doesn’t matter to most voters.
Congress worked. It worked because it had a check-list and it had public pressure put on it by a group of dedicated activists who didn’t have a partisan agenda, just an agenda to make the country safer.
And there were a lot of good, innovative ideas in the Commission report and many of those ideas made into law.
This has not been the case with current debate.
The President pushed for an assault weapons ban, but even if the President had tightened up the ban that had expired years ago, there would be so many loopholes as to make it essentially meaningless.
Reconstituting that ban never was seriously considered by the Senate Majority Leader. And now the Senate is considering a very weak background check that would have done nothing to either Columbine or Newtown.
Instead of being deliberative, smart, innovative or creative, the Senate has been predictable, partisan and largely ineffective.
This gun debate is a real mess and a real missed opportunity to get something good done for the American people.
By John Feehery
I have a bright idea. Let’s end the war on drugs and then let’s launch a new war against illegal guns.
The war on drugs, much like Prohibition in the 1920’s, makes our country more violent and gives criminals the ability to corner the market on the recreational drug industry.
Most people in our prisons (which are over-capacity, by the way) are there because of a connection to the illegal drug trade.
Drugs are not good for you. They make you act stupid (much like alcohol). They are bad for your body (much like cigarettes). They are bad for your brain (much like high-cholesterol foods).
But still people want to use them. If they didn’t, why do we have so many people getting killed or getting thrown in prison just for the honor of selling them? If there wasn’t a huge marketplace for drugs, there wouldn’t be a huge demand to get in the business of making money off of their sales.
Governments, by and large, are much more successful at managing marketplaces than they are at banning them. The government should manage this marketplace, and from the increased tax revenue they would get from such a marketplace, they could do three things.
First, they could pay down some debt. I don’t know if you realize this, but we have a debt problem in this country. We could get a bunch of money from the legal sale of drugs.
Second, we could pay for drug treatment facilities. The fact of the matter is that drugs are bad for you. I hate them. I don’t do them. But some people do and if we legalize drugs, more people will need help to get off of them. Some of the tax revenue could go to pay for those costs.
Third, it could help pay for a new war on illegal guns.
I am fine with normal law-abiding citizens people owning guns legally. And in some cases, I strongly suggest it. I think there should be a universal background check, and if you are crazy, have a criminal record, or if you are under 25, you shouldn’t have access to guns in the civilian world.
There are too many guns in the hands of too many criminals. And we need to have the government sweep in and take those guns away. And I believe those gun should be destroyed that have been owned illegally.
We should raise the standards of gun ownership. We should require that gun owners take a course in gun safety and gun storage that is certified and administered by the National Rifle Association.
And we should put gun sellers on notice. If one of your guns falls in the hands of a criminal, and you didn’t report it stolen, you will be legally liable for what the criminal did with the gun.
It should be harder to own a gun than it is to get a driver’s license. And illegal aliens should not be allowed to own a gun. Period. If you are in this country illegally, you don’t get to have a gun and if you are caught with one, you will immediately be kicked out of the country.
We need to be hard-asses on gun ownership. We need to make sure that good citizens have them, and we need to take them away from the bad guys.
Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that if you are crazy or criminal or an illegal alien, you have a right to own a gun and use it to knock-off a liquor store, or kill your classmates, or shoot at a border patrol agent or use it in a gang fight.
Drugs might kill people but that is a self-inflicted death. Guns in the wrong hands kill way too many innocent victims. Let’s take away guns from criminals. And let’s end the stupid war on drugs.