I am embarrassed to have to say this, but I am the citizen of a nation which could not pass watered down, basic, namby-pamby legislation to require background checks for gun purchases.
Come on, Senators. You can do better than this.
Back in February I wrote to the Distinguished Gentleman from Pennsylvania, my senator, asking for more extensive legislation on gun control, and expected nothing to come of it, because the few times I have written to politicians, that’s what I have gotten. I was pleasantly surprised (shocked is more like it, actually) when he and Sen. Manchin from our neighboring state put together at least something.
I am not against citizens lawfully owning guns. My son is eager to go to a shooting range next weekend with his Scout troop, and I am fine with that, even pleased with that. In many areas a gun is necessary for self-protection, because law enforcement is too far away or too understaffed to respond in a timely manner – I understand that. But I do know that allowing people to buy a gun without checking out whether they have a criminal record is just lunacy. For God’s sake, I practically have to fill out a police report just to buy certain over-the-counter medicine. Yes, it’s true that rigamarole to buy pseudoephedrine doesn’t prevent every single meth head from getting his hands on the stuff, but it makes it a whole lot harder. Same thing goes for background checks on gun purchasers.
The reason we have come to this ludicrous situation is because gun manufacturers and their money have a stranglehold on our legislators. Fifty-four senators had the guts to vote against that power. Forty-six were cowards who voted based on fear-mongering and lies.
My thoughts are not primarily in response to the “crazed-guy-with-gun” events that get so much newsplay. People are being gunned down every day in cities around our country, with very little outcry. I sadly suspect our citizenry’s apathy is because both the perpetrators and victims of those crimes often have dark skin. It’s true that I live far away from that scene, so I don’t speak of it with personal experience, but over time those crimes kill far more people than the events that spark news fury. Then there are gun suicides. Yeah, there are other ways to accomplish that, but a gun in the house makes it more likely to happen if the inclination is there.
For the citizens of our cities and the citizens with suicidal depression, we need to make background checks the law of the nation. To do less is embarrassing.
Here’s a link and an address for those who are interested….
909 Third Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022