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Gun Law Pragmatism

But it's not just money. It's also how the gun issue has been "distorted and how it has been turned into a hot-button cultural issue," Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) said in an interview Wednesday.

"You're either for or against the issue, and that's kind of code for being 'one of us' or not, of being in tune culturally," he added. "And that's the end of the issue," meaning that it's difficult to deal with gun regulation "in a rational, measured way."

Price said that when he confronts voters in his district who criticize him for being "for gun control," he asks whether they favor background checks for gun buyers, a ban on assault weapons and greater efforts to trace guns used in crimes "to check out gun dealers who supply guns." In large numbers, he says, such voters agree with him and reject the positions taken by the gun lobby.

The key, Price argues, is to propose "specific and well-targeted" measures aimed at keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

Okay, let's be specific. What would the NRA's objection be to a law requiring gun dealers to establish whether a potential buyer is a student and, if so, to inform (or even get permission from) the student's high school or college before any weapons could be sold? What about raising the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 25 or 30? Why not renew the ban on the sale of assault weapons?

Why not create a national bipartisan commission that would propose ways -- including, but not limited to, sane gun laws -- to push back our culture of violence?

One more question: Why are our politicians still cowering before the gun lobby after Virginia Tech?

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