We live in a politically reactive country. Tragedy happens, and we choose to throw our civil liberties away. It happened after 9/11, and it is happening now because of Aurora and Sandy Hook. Oddly, not much reform took place after the financial collapse of 2008, even though that particular tragedy was deliberately engineered and killed thousands more than any mass murder episode of American gun violence. White collar crimes are prosecuted less, but more people actually end up being hurt by them.
The current reflexive knee-jerk of the American public to call for a renewal of the assault weapons ban after their politicians directed them to think that might be of some help focuses the effort in all the wrong places. Few liberals may be inclined to believe it, but the NRA is actually right on this one: people kill people, not guns, and with as many guns as people in this country, homicidal maniacs will always gain access to them if they want, regardless of what the Government does at this point. So if we want to actually stop the problem, we have to figure out how to keep people from becoming homicidal maniacs in the first place. Maybe we should also keep people like Adam Lanza’s mom from giving him access to a Bushmaster and training him how to shoot it.
Remember, if you want the Government to prevent 100% of senseless tragedies, the simple solution to that is to lock everybody in individual cages inside which they can hardly move and from whence they can never leave. No one can hurt self or others in such a system, and 100% of all senseless tragedies will no longer occur. Allowing the inalienable rights that the Constitution says are endowed on us by our creators (I guess that would be our father’s penises) means that people will have free will. When people have that they can do horrible things to others that we will not be able to prevent or foresee. Living in a free society means that bad shit happens sometimes.
Meanwhile, only 8,500 people die of gun-inflicted wounds in the U.S. every year, but 30,000-40,000 die of influenza. Strangely no one is jockeying to curtail our rights over the flu, yet.
So President Obama, in his enduring suckitude, is throwing a bone to people who know nothing about firearms or the scope of the problem in America by calling for the renewal of the assault weapons ban, prosecution/criminalization of those failing background checks, and figuring out a way to make every firearms sale involve a background check.
Unfortunately, the people who want all these things don’t understand that an assault rifle is nothing more than a modular semiautomatic rifle, meaning that there’s no functional difference between it and something with a walnut stock that’s used for legitimate hunting purposes–AR’s just look scarier.
They also don’t get that many people who fail background checks for firearms aren’t actual criminals; they just forgot to report something stupid they did when they were young or are using medical marijuana for a legitimate health problem under doctor supervision because it’s legal in their state and the pharmacopeia of modern medicine hasn’t worked for them, or a whole host of other minutiae (the background check application to purchase a firearm is complicated).
The same liberals that Obama is appeasing through legal gestures that will criminalize thousands or millions and never adequately address the problem of mental health in this country (and therefore never put a dent in the number of mass shootings) also don’t understand that with a $16 trillion debt, giving everyone access to the background check system is not something we can afford, and with the current status of our nonexistent privacy, we could now throw into the mix the possibility that everyone could run a background check on everyone else. Fuck you, the horse you rode in on, your health records, and all the stupid things you did when you were a kid! Do you know how many competent people would be denied jobs once that went into effect?
It sucks that Obama knows the legislation he proposes will do nothing but decrease privacy. Yup, nothing done with mental health care = no dent in the shooting problem. Our President has finally shown his true colors in his second term, and he’s every bit as socialistic and scary as the teabaggers were saying he was. And we have 4 more years of this to look forward to. And I fucking voted for him 2 months ago, because I was still under the illusion that he (of the Harvard Law Review, of all places) might give a shit about my civil liberties!
So Harry Reid should stick to his guns, as I am sticking to mine. The ATF ran Fast and Furious under Obama, so he seems to have no problems with high-level cartel members getting firearms in Mexico (you know, the guys who leave a dozen heads in a cooler lying on the side of the road), so what the fuck does he have against the American people owning guns? Obama doesn’t actually care about guns, and his proposed legislation is not really about them. It’s about using the sparkly new Utah Data Center to run a national firearms registry, the members of whom will be placed under a higher degree of government suspicion and examination than the rest of the nation (whose every digital move will eventually also be tracked).
Unfortunately, this might be leading to the moment not unlike the one where the Nazis invaded France and installed the Vichy government and right became wrong, up became down, left became right, and bad became good practically overnight. Maybe it is that moment.
And how do we as a nation learn that the proper response to tragedy is not offering up our civil liberties on a plate for the vultures in Washington?