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US/ Gun Control: Can It Happen?

January Fri 18, 2013

Infophoto  Infophoto

I have voiced the concern previously that the debate over gun control could crowd out other issues, and that I fear the prospect of meaningful gun control is so low, it seems a questionable political calculation to pursue mediocre gun control if that makes real, substantive progress on other issues less likely. “Seek joy where joy may be found” is one of my most closely held beliefs.

Now, we must add a further concern. The President’s decision to move forward on the recommendations prepared by Vice President Biden’s task force is understandable, transparently so, and what we see is a president moved not so much by his mind as by his heart. The day of the killings in Newtown disclosed a side of Barack Obama that we do not often see, the man who has trouble holding back tears, the man who was clearly responding to the killings as a dad first and a political leader second. Thus, the issue is one more in the long list of conservative complaints against a man they already detest. It would be wrong to say the issue has been politicized – it was always politicized, but only by one side in the debate, the gun lobby. Those in favor of gun control have been marginalized politically for almost twenty years. President Obama has now taken up the cause, but it did not take much in the way of imagination to guess how Fox News, Sen. Rand Paul, and the NRA would respond.

Actually, even I was surprised by the vile response from the NRA. Their ad attacking the President because his children receive Secret Service protection at their school is beneath contempt. Newsflash to the NRA: The children of the president are potential targets in a way most children are not, and they are targets in part because of the poisonous, boorish, despicable, anti-Obama rantings you and your ilk have been mouthing for four years.

For four years the NRA has been saying Obama was going to take away our guns, even though, before Newtown, the president had put forward no such plan, even though the plan he put forward yesterday is unlikely to take away anyone’s gun. The leaders of the NRA have kept their choir singing in the face of inaction. All hell will break loose in the face of action and their ad was hellish. And you can bet they will be saying "We told you do, he was planning this all along," as if any president would not change course in the face of an abomination like Newtown. I suspect next the NRA will suggest that FDR really planned Pearl Harbor too, and then, for good measure, attack his family.



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