The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Avoiding Looking Facts in the Eye

In an interview with NBC News, Mitt Romney is quoted as having the following exchange:
WILLIAMS: "On things however like Aurora, Colorado, do you see why Americans get frustrated at politics. They can see and hear your words from earlier in their career, people are hurting out there. Perhaps they want to start a national conversation about whether an AR-15 belongs in the hands of a citizen, whether a citizen should be able to buy 6-thousand rounds off the internet. You see the argument?"

ROMNEY: "Well this person shouldn't have had any kind of weapons and bombs and other devices and it was illegal for him to have many of those things already. But he had them. And so we can sometimes hope that just changing the law will make all bad things go away. It won't. Changing the heart of the American people may well be what's essential, to improve the lots of the American people."

Except, of course, that James Holmes bought his armaments legally. (Hat Tip: Think Progress)

(According to the National Journal, Romney's campaign has subsequently claimed that Romney's observation was limited to the booby-trapping of hid apartment, and that "Holmes allegedly used legal materials to make an illegal bomb." Not what he said, unresponsive to the question asked, and of course, not taking a position on the ultimate issue--perfect Romney, in other words.)

This particular lie is a bad one; Romney is trying to avoid the consequences of our extreme devotion to guns and the fundamentalist interpretation of the Constitution that creates an unlimited "right" to have them for any purpose or no purpose at all. (The Second Amendment explicitly ties the right to the States' need for a "well-ordered militia" not the joy of blazing away at unarmed animals. Or humans, for that matter.)

This devotion comes with a high cost. Guns may not kill people, but they sure expedite the process of people killing people in bulk. Gun rights supporters have no right to blind themselves to that fact, or to expect us to pretend it isn't so. And when these massacres occur, they may want to weigh more carefully the cost of their freedoms to others.

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