Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Keep the crazies unarmed
My wish, focusing on our current round of gun-related issues, is for dangerous weapons to be kept out of the hands of dangerous people.
And by dangerous, I mean crazy.
And by crazy, I mean mentally unstable.
And by mentally unstable, I mean about one out of every 10 American adults, such as those who are now claiming the entire Sandy Hook massacre was orchestrated by the Obama administration in order to strengthen gun laws, and patronizing types like Sen. Feinstein, D-Calif., proposing already discredited symbolic changes to certain guns that are little more than cosmetic lipstick on a pig for future political gain.
These are the people that common sense regulations can help the most.
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Last week, I went through all 23 proposals by the president (it took all of two minutes, and that’s because the phone rang) and found them to be almost embarrassingly shallow.
It was a theatrical shame to see the president surround himself with children to make his point, but all I see the NRA surrounding themselves with are children-sized coffins in yet another pathetic attempt to inflame the ignorant and take easy money from the paranoid (their Internet ad asking like-minded morons if Obama’s children are more important than their own is a new low, smacking of desperation and little else).
Anyway, the first six proposals deal with strengthening background checks, while the rest run the gamut from national ad campaigns (remember how well “just say no” worked?) to nominating an ATF director (which we have not had in six years due to idiotic pork legislation tossed into otherwise innocuous bills basically authored by the NRA) to making sure everyone understands the foundation of the issue is mental health, not gun ownership, with the rest just streamlining existing programs.
And that’s it. Not a single word about banning or confiscating any gun or any type of gun.
Not a word.
But before you blow a hollow-point gasket and start screaming, realize there is a big difference between these 23 proposals to be enacted through executive order and the president’s “requests” made to Congress.
Those are the biggies: criminal background checks on prospective buyers in all gun sales nationwide and a reinstatement of bans on military-style assault weapons, magazines holding more than 10 rounds and armor-piercing ammunition (except for law enforcement members).
Since we all know only too well how Congress works today, I’d say each of these items has as good a chance of passing as Manti Te’o does of reconnecting with his ex-imaginary girlfriend (I had one of those in college, but she came in pulp form) or perhaps Lance Armstrong has of hosting a new version of the “Truth or Consequences” game show on ESPN. (Come to think of it, maybe he’ll run for Congress instead.)
In other words, I don’t think it’s going anywhere (except maybe the background checks, I hope), as Congress has their slimy little hands full with debt ceiling issues, and top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell has said it will be at least three months before the chamber even considers gun legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said immigration, not gun control, is at the top of his priority list after the next round of fiscal shenanigans.
But for those shouting, “I refuse to let a tyrannical Muslim born in Kenya who will stop at nothing to become a dictator for life come take my guns away!” I simply say you are the walking, talking definition of the “prepper” stereotype who should not be allowed to legally possess a dangerous weapon. You have my pity, but absolutely no sympathy, so please crawl back into your paranoid hole and leave the adults to running the real world.
Hopefully, we’ll figure this crap out sooner or later without any more of your “help.”
Richard Carnes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.