Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Time to focus on guns again

In past years the shooting murder of an undercover policeman and trial in the massacre of 12 people in a Colorado theater would have filled the Internet with complaints about America’s love affair with guns.
Other than essays from the usual suspects, such as Mother Jones, the proliferation of guns is now generally accepted.
Only smoking costs the nation more, Mother Jones says. It puts the cost of gun violence at $229 billion annually, compared with $289 billion for smoking.
A huge compaign against smoking, forcing people to smoke outside their offices and severely limiting advertising, has only reduced the harm. It is even worse in other countries.
Nothing short of outlawing it would protect smokers and non-smokers. Even if it wasn’t perfect it would protect many, including victims of second-hand smoke.
Marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug, though it kills no one.
A rush to expand gun control after the Columbine Massacre in 1999 has turned around, and gun rights expanded.
People believe they can protect themselves better than police, though there is no uncontested evidence to support that.
In a sense, some would say police have reaped what they have sewn, switching courses a few years ago and siding with the NRA on concealed carry.
Police used to argue that only they should be able to carry concealed weapons in urban areas.
The gun used to kill officer Brian Moore was stolen in Georgia. A Florida man shipped guns to New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was convicted of murder.
The commerce in guns crosses state lines from areas where they are easily obtained to states with tigh gun laws.
The guns and bullets used to kill 12 people during a screening of a Batman movie in an Aurora theater were bought legally, including some of it online.
The handgun used to kill two officers in the borough of Brooklyn in Denver also came from Georgia.
Imagine what would happen if the resources spent on the unsuccessful “Drug War” were devoted to ending the gun trade.
Guns are so sacrosanct that the attackers of an event in Texas showing drawings of Mohammed brazenly Tweeted their feelings.
“The ISIS guys are talking to these wannabes on Twitter all day long,” a senior law enforcement official told the New York Times.
With police criticized throughout the nation after killings of unarmed blacks this might be a good time for them to join in efforts to control guns, and eliminate most of them.
There are no new arguments. The question is does America need 310 million guns? And that does not include guns in the possession of the military.
With fewer guns in the hands of civilians police could face fewer deadly threats.

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