George Santayana wrote "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" -- which is where we have evolved in our National gun debate. When Wyatt Earp (a Western hero in American lore) was Sheriff of Tombstone -- more than 100 years ago -- there was an ordinance in town that barred the public from carrying firearms in public. Citizens and visitors were required to check their weapons at the Sheriff's office or the Grand Hotel. If they did not, they faced imprisonment or fine or both. This was an effort to both control and reduce violence -- and it worked (I might also add that there were no violent video games or movies in that era -- but there was no dearth of violence.)
Now we seem to be having a Back to the Future redux. If you read and listen to Wayne LaPierre, everyone needs to be armed. In truth, the logic and rationality of the Second Amendment has been lost in gun zealotry. The argument being that if everyone was armed, violence would be abated, when in fact the total opposite is true. The point is that he has no respect for any other position -- it's his way or the highway. He can bully our elected representatives and he knows it. I watch him -- eyes blazing, rhetoric rigid, uncompromising -- a true gun fanatic. In my opinion, I wouldn't trust him with the remote control to my television. The Founding Fathers built this country on compromise -- checks and balances -- and would have been appalled by his ideological dogmatic positions. As a society, we have opprobrium for bigotry, but not for zealotry, notwithstanding who it might hurt.
Common sense should open everyone's eyes to the various scenarios. Look how many shots were fired by the police in the tragedy in Boston and in shootouts in New York City -- how many miss their target, probably more than 90%. You can go to all the target ranges you want, but the fact is that the targets don't shoot back. If everyone is armed, what's the logical conclusion -- Gunfight at the OK Corral -- a very scary thought! -- not to mention, what would the collateral damage be? 100 armed people in a theater shooting at a suspect -- the carnage would be greater, not less, but it could lead to a new reality show for television... Collateral Damage, and the marketing would be great -- not only can you see the show, but it may be coming to your neighborhood... the only part of this thought, while absurd, it's actually being advocated....
The vote in the Senate on background checks last week is an example of our elected representatives letting America down -- and why? -- because they were bullied by the NRA. But we live in a democracy -- fractious at times, but most of the time we do get to the right solution. Here's the way to deal with a bully: using social media.
Mark Kelly has the bully pulpit. He should set up a website to create a legal political PAC to support candidates who will sponsor and support appropriate and common sense background checks and gun legislation. The object would be to collect 20-25 million names and ask each name to contribute $ -- a maximum of $2. It could create a PAC with significant resources which could support the candidates to enact the sensible approach we need. There is strength in numbers and this would show our elected representatives how the American people feel. How can sensible background checks be wrong when 90% of the American public, our law enforcement officials and the police want them. We can take away an individual's ability to drive their car when they get a DUI, but we cannot have sensible laws on background checks -- how truly sad. The Demi-cant's almost did, the Republi-won'ts got their way. We lost this battle, but let's win the war. Otherwise coming to a neighborhood near you... Gunfight on 42nd Street.
Where is Wyatt Earp when you really need him?
How will Trump’s administration impact you? Learn more