Yesterday, I talked gun control on Fox Business with the uber-talented Melissa Francis. During this discussion she expressed the nonsense and banal phrase; guns don't kill people, people kill people.
This junk phrase is a linguistic non sequitur. It placates the simple-minded and is a large part of the reason why people in government have been paralyzed by fear of the great, but fallacious, NRA boogeyman.
The Second Amendment exists and it's obviously not going anywhere, despite what the survivalist loonies will have you believe. Currently "the right to bear arms" doesn't include bombs, tanks, grenades or (taken to the logical extreme) nuclear weapons. Does anyone really believe that their AR-15 would prevent a tyrannical government, which spent $680 billion on defense last year, from "getting" you? I'm no proponent of Obama's drone policy, but the mere existence of these weapons is evidence of just how ridiculous these survivalist's beliefs about the Seconnd Amendment are.
In our city last year we had 513 homicides. This horrific figure has obviously not simply been caused by the prevalence of guns. There are a number of generational, societal, economic and educational factors too. But, the easy-access to guns, typically purchased legally (in Cook County, Indiana, etc.) and re-sold illegally to gang members is an enormous problem. As legislators, the City Council and the mayor have a responsibility to try and solve (or, at least, lessen) this problem.
At the next council meeting, Mayor Emanuel intends to introduce an ordinance, designed to do this. He has yet to release all the details, but I couldn't agree with him more about doing something. It would be, at best, irresponsible and, at worst, lazy for us in the City Council to wait for the state or federal governments to act.
After the beyond-comprehension horror in Sandy Hook, the time for action is now. It must be. If we can't come together now and try and do something, than it's likely we never will. As a legislator and a citizen, I don't want to resign myself to the fact that my country has 8,000 gun murders a year.
In 2009, 66.9 percent of all homicides in our country were perpetrated with guns. We do have the right to bear arms, but like all rights, it must be balanced against our broader rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.