If you've been to my site, you know how passionate I am about this particular issue. We have between 80 and 90 gun deaths a day in this country, and many are simply unnecessary.
Just as unions, pro-choice groups and other progressive organizations and movements were put on the defensive throughout much of the 90s and now the 2000s by right-wing groups with no conscience, so have those arguing for meaningful gun safety laws when confronted with men with an extra-Y chromosome lodged in their cerebral cortex.
The NRA, with the money at their disposal and their willingness to do anything to win, with an almost gleeful expression as they lessen the security of the American people, are bar none one of the most evil of these groups in the country. The sad thing is not just the Republicans, but good Democrats who bow down before them.
I wrote a column three years ago on this subject, so let me quote liberally from that piece, and how today it is even more important as the NRA fights to ensure every terrorist, criminal, child or mentally imbalanced person has access to an AK:
When I sauntered out into the hallway to pick up my copy of Thursday's Washington Post, a front-page story leapt off the page at me: "FBI Curbed in Tracking Gun Buyers."
The story explains how our anti-terrorism crusading attorney general, John Ashcroft, seems to employ the common sense of Jessica Simpson when it comes to implementing policies to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists.
This combative attitude toward weapons that kill landing in the hands of the people who do comes from a man who is all too excited to declare suspected terrorists "enemy combatants," and haul them off to Guantanamo Bay without the benefit of such niceties as a lawyer and trial.
Why the discrepancy between the deference the attorney general shows to first and second amendment concerns? Three letters: NRA.
According to the pro-campaign finance reform Web site Opensecrets.org, pro-Second Amendment groups have given 85 percent of their campaign cash, a total of more than $17 million since 1990, to the Republicans.
It is also a little hard to forget the videotape that surfaced in 2000, where a high-ranking National Rifle Association official claimed in a campaign speech that, if Bush won, the NRA would be "working out of the White House."
In a society where, sadly, the choice may be between giving up a few rights or having a weapon of mass destruction set off down the street, the former would seem to trump the latter. Shouldn't this same sacrifice of some freedoms also apply to gun owners?
Why would we not do all we can to keep guns out of the hands of those we deem to be dangerous or deranged? It is not like we are talking universal registration or licensing here, just the tracking of successful gun purchases by those who are on terrorist watch lists.
Individuals with ties to al-Qaida and the militant group Hezbollah have been caught browsing local gun shows in the United States. And the manual "How Can I Train Myself for Jihad" found in the rubble of a terrorist training camp in Kabul recommended that members of al-Qaida living in the United States should try and "obtain an assault weapon legally, preferably AK-47 or variations," by taking advantage of the United States' lax gun laws.
You would think this would alarm people of all political stripes enough to forget politics for a moment and protect this country.
So now back to the point. This has nothing, and I mean NOTHING to do with the Second Amendment. I wrote this, mind you, before Virginia Tech, before a militia was arrested in Alabama with a cache of weapons and plans for attack.
On Nov. 10, 2001, President Bush addressed the United Nations, saying, "We have a responsibility to deny weapons to terrorists and to actively prevent private citizens from providing them." I agree. Bush and Ashcroft should show some leadership and act to further protect us from al-Qaida murderers in our midst.
How long to do we want to wait while Congress is held hostage by a special-interest, a band of corporatized, extremists who don't care if the attacks in London come here, as long as they protect the rights of criminals to buy their products and earn them a tidy profit? 1,000 deaths of innocent children...bystanders...victims? 10,000? 1,000,000?
Well, enough is enough. And that is why I am honored that stophandgunviolence.com has chosen to advertise on my site. They have a large billboard up near Fenway Park (I would have gone with Yankee Stadium, but hey, I'm a die hard Yanks fan) discussing the hostages to the NRA (and likeminded idiots) we call our elected representatives.
Go to their site. Join them in trying to add meaningful background checks to gun purchases in ALL states, because they currently do not exist in many (as we found out in VA). That's right, Osama himself could buy a handgun in many states as we speak (and varmints must continue to run for cover, as they know Mitt Romney is armed and dangerous).
In any poll you look at, the public is on our side. By numbers usually in the 75-90% range. The time for talking is done. It's time to take some action my friends.