PostScript: Ruth Marcus and fighting the NRA

December 19, 2012

Kerry O’Mahony, of Danbury, Conn., brings a bouquet of flowers to a memorial for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims Wednesday in Newtown, Conn. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

It’s another cautiously optimistic day here in the PostScript Bunker, where we are sweating a bit beneath our full suit of medieval armor because we remembered anti-perspirant only after already putting the metal gloves on. As wild-eyed and paranoid as we are, our natural reaction to the actually-fairly-calm-considering post-awful-dead-children-tragedy period of reflection on national gun policies has been to wait for the other shoe to drop. And massively over-hyphenate. As Ruth Marcus argues in her column today about possible cracks in the NRA’s political untouchability, the odd quiet from the pro-gun lobby indicates that maybe this time anti-gunners won’t be completely outgunned politically. Whew, that was a lot of modifiers.

So until the shoe-drop in the form of the National Rifle Association’s upcoming Friday news conference, pro-gun-control factions are free to imagine all kinds of political victory in their future, and anti-gun-control commenters are getting a little weary or weird. In the comments to Marcus’s column, for example, we detected very few arguments that were popular just a few days ago, boosting armed teachers/administrators/students. The remaining arguments are, PostScript would venture to say, more slippery-slope: If the federal government starts chipping away at the rights of gun owners in the Bill of Rights, where will it end? Also, we might need powerful guns for an insurrection, because the government has tanks and drones and if all a militia has is shotguns, they’d be sunk. And obviously the federal government has the duty to take the rights of that insurrecting militia very seriously.

Whereas the gun-controllers are branching out into new, and also weird, ideas. The possibility of stricter gun control, closer now than at any point in our lifetimes, has possibly gone to their heads.

Observe:

merrylees

If any politician receives a[n] A or B grade from the NRA vote against them. Whether they are state legislators or Congress members donate to their opponent and vote for the opponent. We do not need these radicals in elected office.

boblesch

It’s time to speak with your wallet — if a store sells either guns or ammunition that you want banned — DON’T SHOP THERE!

outofthebox1

When I was a child, decades ago, my sixth grade teacher brought up whether everyone had a right to smoke. Of course, we all said. Now, you can still smoke, but you can’t smoke in bars, restaurants, offices, many hotel rooms, and many other places. Of course there is no Constitutional right to smoke in order to promote a well-regulated militia, but we don’t have militias anymore so that wouldn’t apply anyway. But the point is that attitudes can change drastically in a lifetime, when a pursuit is shown to be so foolish, anti-social, damaging to others, counter-productive, and expensive to the smoker and the community. Smoking rates are way down, partly due to social attitudes, and partly due to very high taxes in many states. There are parallels and lessons to be learned for gun ownership if we would open our minds to the possibilities.

billwilson18041

We the people can look to the common good and demand our government does as well. To augment the government action to stop the wmd manufacture and distribution we can start to divest from the industry that produces the automatic weapons and clips. That is at least one significant way apartheid was brought down and will be forever. Dirty carbon like the TarSands/KeystoneXL that means even more death and destruction for the children. Children in Canada have stopped their government/carbon lobbies and we can too.

kdburg

I confess. I have a personal interest in the subject of gun control. I hunt. Sometimes, it’s with a shotgun holding 2-5 shells (3 is the nationwide max for guns used in hunting ducks or geese; 5 is the max for most else); other times, it’s with a medium-to-large-caliber rifle with 1-5 shells, the max allowed in most states for big game hunting. I own several shotguns and several rifles, more than enough to defend my home, family, and freedom, if needed.  
 
I don’t own any clips holding more than 4 shells, and I don’t own any handguns. I don’t have any need for them and, frankly, I can’t see why anyone else would either, especially since they are such menaces to public safety. Large clips, usually carrying way more than the standard 4-shell limit, are used in almost all mass shootings, and handguns are implicated in almost all of the rest of the 30,000 gun deaths in the US each year.
 
If you’d like to ban big clips, go ahead; won’t bother me a bit. Perhaps a program where folks turn in their oversized clips and get free 4-shell clip replacements would be a way to get things rolling until the sanctions kick in, the ones classifying possession of an oversized magazine as legally equivalent to possession of a Thompson sub-machine gun.

kamwick

I think kdburg should start his OWN gun owners’ organization. One that isn’t beholden to manufacturers and won’t extort from the government.

sophiakatesivan

Excellent article, Ruth. I suggest people consider donating to the Brady Campaign in honor of the victims. We just did.

SpecialForcesVet

A higher level of competency should be required for ownership of military pattern weapon. Something like pilot licenses, which rate the pilot for single engine, instruments, multi-engine, commercial etc.
Prove this competency by military service, [law-enforcement officer] training or comparable testing. Otherwise make do with simpler weapons. If you want the ‘coolness’ of the AR or AK etc … go buy an Airsoft gun. Lots of aviators enjoy single engines Cessna just fine; others go on to fly jets.

parkercn

I have a small handgun and I used to own a hunting rifle. I just want big, nasty assault weapons banned from use from anyone other than those trained to use them. I really don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Doth PostScript scent a whiff of consensus building? Or is that her armpit? She is unable to bend her neck to find out for certain, so tune in Friday when we get a look at that other shoe.  

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Jonathan Capehart | December 19, 2012