Horatio

Horatio
[Photo by Jacquelyn Griffin)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Not Taking No for an Answer: Engaging the Culture of Death



President Obama just won't stop trying:
Tears streaming down his face, President Obama on Tuesday condemned the gun violence that has reached across the United States as he vowed to take action to curb the bloodshed with or without Congress.

“In this room right here, there are a lot of stories. There’s a lot of heartache,” Mr. Obama said in the y Suprme ver, the ffords of Arizona. “There’s a lot of resilience, there’s a lot of strength, but there’s also a lot of pain.”

For all the emotion he showed, Mr. Obama nonetheless faces legal, political and logistical hurdles that are likely to blunt the effect of the plan he laid out.

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Among other measures, the plan aims to better define who should be licensed as a gun dealer and thus be required to conduct background checks on customers to weed out prohibited buyers.

Even the administration said it was impossible to gauge how big an effect the steps might have, how many new gun sales might be regulated or how many illegal guns might be taken off the streets.

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Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch told reporters Monday that she could not say whether the new restrictions would have had any effect in a series of recent mass shootings, including last month’s attack in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 dead. But in the massacre of nine people at a South Carolina church in June, the man charged, Dylan Roof, was able to buy a .45-caliber handgun despite admitting to drug use. The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said at the time that a breakdown in the background check system allowed Mr. Roof to buy the gun.

Mr. Obama voiced irritation over the issue.

“Each time this comes up,” Mr. Obama said in his speech, “we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking. We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.”

Modest as the new measures may prove to be, the response was unrestrained. Republican presidential candidates and congressional leaders greeted them with peals of protests and angry claims of a “gun grab” that would violate Second Amendment rights. Gun control advocates hailed them as a breakthrough in what has often been a losing battle to toughen firearms restrictions.
Of course they did. As I previously pointed out, the very Supreme Court decision that created a personal right to own a firearm (as opposed to a state right for one to be owned for militia related purposes) left plenty of leeway for regulation of guns. But to those who worship at the shrine of Thanatos, any regulation of guns is desecration.

I know, I know. I'm bitter on this issue. I can't help it. The disproportionately high death toll from guns in the US compared to similar nations has only intensified the devotion of those who demand that every space be armed space.

Still, I have to admire the President for not giving up.

1 comment:

RFSJ said...

Yes, and Amen. This may well bec becoming for me a defining issue in my own politics.