Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney broached the subject of gun control in the October 3, presidential debate. Gun control advocates across the country took notice and many let their disappointment be known. One such person was Stephen Barton who was one of the victims in the Aurora, Colo. movie theatre massacre. Barton, who is from Brooklyn, was hit with 25 shotgun pellets and is suffering nerve damage. However, Barton says he won’t give up.
|Columbine shooters Eric Harris
and Dylan Klebold
Barton remarked it seemed absurd to not mention gun control in the Denver debate considering the short proximity to the Aurora carnage as well as the Columbine school shootings in 1999. 12 were killed in Aurora, 58 wounded. In Columbine, 13 killed, 21 injured. Barton places part of the blame for ignoring the gun issue on the debate host, Jim Lehrer, but mostly on the candidates. You’d think a total of 25 killed and 79 wounded would raise some candidates’ hackles.
It didn’t, and, at least, this could have added some zip to Obama’s hollow performance. Sorry, Mr. President, it was sorely lacking and some are saying it could put Mitt Romney ahead to stay. I think not! Whatever went on in your head that night has thoroughly confused many progressives, but we all know it was not the true Barack Obama. But the fact remains that both you and Romney refuse to address the enormity of the problems of firearms in the United States.
Aurora and Columbine, and Tucson and Virginia Tech and the host of other major incidents of mass shootings should be enough to put any politician’s stomach in turmoil with it happening in the country he governs or wants to govern. But not a word from either of you and that is unacceptable. Maybe not to the gun nuts and the NRA and its leader, wacky Wayne LaPierre, but for the average citizen who values his or her life and that of family and friends.
Excellent video by Thom Hartmann making case for gun control:
And of course there is more. On the streets of America each day 84 people are killed by guns, 603 weekly and 2,612 monthly, numbers that should drive any civilized government to regulate the source of the problem. Like Canada and Australia, where steps have been taken to control this kind of individual and mass bloodshed due to firearms. Recently a Quebec court let stand a law requiring the registration of even long guns along with the current handgun law.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed strictly banning assault weapons and New York lawmakers want broad legislation to limit weapons purchases. On the other hand Dem. Majority Leader Harry Reid says that body is to busy to debate gun control this year with no promises for next year. It is simply astonishing to me that our Congress is too busy to do something about the death of 84 innocent victims a day from guns, many illegal. I guess the question is what will it take?
Doctors have even weighed in on the issue, asking the question, “Is a gun like a virus, a car, tobacco or alcohol?” They say YES and want to approach gun violence as a social disease. “What we need, they say, is a public health approach to the problem, like the highway safety measures, product changes and driving laws that slashed deaths from car crashes decades ago, even as the number of vehicles on the road rose,” according to the Associated Press.
|VA Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho
Mass shootings don’t seem to be on the rise but the accounting of the number of dead and wounded by police agencies for these incidents aren’t always reported immediately, sometime not for a year. Emergency medicine professor Dr. Garen Wintemute of the U. of Calif. Davis said, “The greater toll is not from these clusters but from endemic violence, the stuff that occurs every day and doesn’t make the headlines.” Like those 84 deaths reported by the CDC.
And finally, there’s Paul Ryan. His Vice Presidential candidacy is enough to make any serious gun control advocate throw up. Actually, any progressive for that matter. Example: Re. guns, in 1999 he voted against more stringent background checks for people buying at gun shows. And in 2011 he voted for the bill that, if you have a concealed carry permit in one state, you would be able to carry your weapon concealed in any state.
FLASH: Since the state of Arizona will issue concealed carry permits to just about anyone who wants one, and allow them to carry their weapons anywhere they want to in the state, you will have hundreds of people walking around the U.S. who are not even qualified to own a gun. Come on…doesn’t common sense demand more sensible gun regulations in America?