The Obama administration is reportedly unwilling to confront the National Rifle Association over the growing number of guns in the nation. Many of those weapons are in the hands of people who have little regard for the law or human life.
Why not take on the NRA? The organization is almost daring lawmakers in Congress to a fight. Perhaps it is time to see if the organization is as powerful and untouchable as it claims to be.
In just the last week, here are some news items to ponder in discussing why guns should be higher on the national agenda:
- Item: A crazed gunman in a small town in North Carolina barged into a nursing home for Alzheimer's patients to methodically mow down seven elderly victims and a nurse.
- Item: Ninety percent of the weapons in the hands of drug cartel criminals in Mexico have come from the United States. Police say they are outgunned by the enemy as murders continue of judges, police officials, and innocent bystanders. Crime is spilling across the Mexican-U.S. border.
- Item: The city of Oakland buried four police officers who were only delivering an arrest warrant. The criminal was armed and killed all four in a shootout on the street before being taken down himself.
- Item: A jury in Phoenix sentenced a man called the Serial Shooter to six death sentences for random night shootings. He killed six and wounded 10 in a spree that held the city in fear for two years.
In light of the current environment, perhaps Congress would at least look to a middle ground to crack down on guns. A federal law on gun shows with stricter background checks would be an example.
The gun lobby would scream, of course, as it always does when a city, state, or Congress considers any restrictive measure. At the recent meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee, the NRA operatives were in full throat against such action.
The NRA always screams "confiscation" when attempts are made to limit gun access. It is a red herring and everyone knows it. No one is calling for going door to door and seizing weapons.
I was raised in South Dakota, a state with a long and proud tradition of hunting pheasants and ducks in the fall. Legitimate hunters there and in other states should have no concern about those screams of "confiscation."
But the word is nevertheless spreading that the administration is up to something on guns, and the poor economy will increase crime. In Tampa, for instance, gun sales have been brisk and more men and women are taking target practice.
The Second Amendment does not protect armed killers or unlawful sellers of guns that cause harm to fellow citizens.
Let's see if members of Congress are finally willing to show some backbone and take on the NRA, if only in a limited way.