After each horrific shooting, some leaders in Washington have said the solution is to do nothing, simply continue to enforce the existing laws, just as we have been doing. The gun lobby, meanwhile, calls for weakening our already paltry laws to get more guns to more people in more places. It is time for the gun lobby to stop stoking fear among gun owners with false claims about the government. It is time for the gun industry to stop capitalizing on those ginned-up fears to spread weapons of war among the public.
The gun lobby’s rhetoric has consequences. We have seen how profound those consequences can be.
We have a gun crisis in America. As important as the economic crisis is, the right to be safe at home and work and play needs at least as much attention from our policymakers as the right to economic security. It is time for leaders in Washington to drop empty platitudes after each horrific shooting, and instead do what they're paid to do: show backbone, and enact reasonable laws to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.
At the very least, require Brady background checks for all gun sales; restrict military-style assault weapons to the military and law enforcement and help law enforcement crack down on corrupt gun sellers.
What's your opinion? Do you agree that the existing gun laws are "paltry?" I would say ineffectual, but "paltry" describes them pretty well, don't you think?
Do you think it's fair to put the responsibility on the gun-lobby rhetoric? Do you believe such a connection exists, a connection between the increase in gun violence and the talk that gun bans are just around the corner? Do you think it's a fair statement to say that the gun lobby is "stoking fear among gun owners with false claims about the government?"
What do you think about Helmke's three proposals? Would they help?
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