Up in arms

 Posted by at 11:47  Politics
Jan 112011

The right is up in arms (pun intended) over this New York Times editorial. I think it is quite excellent, myself. See what you think. Here, let me get you started. You’ll need to click the link to read the whole thing.

An Assault on Everyone’s Safety

Glock 19
Glock 19

The Glock 19 is a semiautomatic pistol so reliable that it is used by thousands of law enforcement agencies around the world, including the New York Police Department, to protect the police and the public. On Saturday, in Tucson, it became an instrument of carnage for two preventable reasons: It had an oversize ammunition clip that was once restricted by federal law and still should be; and it was fired by a disturbed man who should never have been able to purchase it legally.

The ludicrously thin membrane that now passes for gun control in this country almost certainly made the Tucson tragedy worse. Members of Congress are legitimately concerned about their own safety now, but they should be no less worried about the effect of their inaction on the safety of all Americans.

As lawmakers in Washington engage this week in moments of silence and tributes to Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other casualties, they should realize that they have the power to reduce the number of these sorts of horrors, and their lethality.

To do so, they will need to stand up to the National Rifle Association and its allies, whose lobbying power continues to grow despite the visceral evidence that the groups have made the country a far more dangerous place. Having won a Supreme Court ruling establishing a right to keep a firearm in the home, the gun lobby is striving for new heights of lunacy, waging a campaign to legalize the possession of a gun in schools, bars, parks, offices, and churches, even by teenagers.

It reflexively opposes even mild, sensible restrictions — but if there is any reason left in this debate, the latest mass shooting should force a retreat. Is there anyone, even the most die-hard gun lobbyist, who wants to argue that a disturbed man should be able to easily and legally buy a Glock to shoot a congresswoman, a judge, a 9-year-old girl?

UPDATE: Also recommended: “A Flood Tide of Murder” by Bob Herbert.

Jan 112011

Some of you may remember Jon Stewart’s memorable comments after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. His business is comedy, though he has been recognized in several polls as “the most trusted newsman in America.” Somehow he always seems to strike the right note following a tragedy. Here is his take on the recent shootings in Tucson, Arizona. (Note: may not be viewable outside the United States.) A transcript of his remarks is after the break.

Continue reading »