Gun lobby defends senseless murders
by Dan K. Thomasson
Columnist
March 26, 2013 11:25 PM | 618 views | 1 1 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As Congress prepares to go into full debate mode over gun control, daily shootings point up the tragedy of doing nothing to stop the insanity of firearms violence. But nothing since the Dec. 14 massacre of first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., is more unspeakable than what occurred Thursday in Georgia.

A young mother pushing her 13-month-old son in a stroller back from the post office was accosted by two teenagers who demanded money. She had none, she explained, which prompted the older of the two to produce a gun and threaten to shoot the baby. She again explained that she had no money, that caring for her child took it all. She pleaded for him not to harm the boy.

According to police reports, the older assailant ignored her pleas and fired three shots: two at the woman, nicking an ear and wounding her leg. He then, the mother said, calmly walked to the stroller and fired a third shot into the child’s face.

Two teens were arrested and charged with murder after the mother quickly identified a 17-year-old from 24 photographs supplied by the police. The other suspect is said to be 14. The 17-year-old was charged as an adult, making him eligible for the severest penalty under Georgia law. An aunt contended he was eating breakfast with her at the time, though police say they have sufficient evidence to dispute the alibi.

The argument is irrelevant that the heinous crime was committed by “people and not guns,” because it couldn’t have happened without one. What is pertinent is what it says about a society in which a teenager can easily find one of the estimated 300 million guns in circulation in this country and use it to deliberately murder an utterly defenseless baby boy on the street in broad daylight. The casualness of this crime is difficult for any civilized person to come to grips with.

Perhaps if the mother or the child himself had been “carrying,” they could have stopped the tragedy. That, of course, is the standard response one can expect from the National Rifle Association and its rabid followers, who use that rationalization after every nauseatingly regular gun massacre. Should we believe that no one is too young to exercise Second Amendment rights? Let’s arm the little children.

Another incident demonstrates how timid federal lawmakers will put their own political survival over a coherent, sane policy on firearms. Doing the NRA’s bidding, as usual, Republicans and some Democratic allies have managed to deny Caitlin Halligan a seat on the prestigious District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals because, as solicitor general for New York state, she pursued a lawsuit against gun manufacturers. After the gun advocates blocked her Senate approval for two years, Halligan asked that her nomination be withdrawn.

So, on the eve of congressional debate, about the only good news for those determined to fight back is that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is bankrolling a $12 million advertising campaign. It promotes expanded background checks for gun purchases, one of the initiatives proposed by the White House. The 13-state campaign is targeted toward senators Bloomberg believes can be persuaded to back new gun regulations. The billionaire mayor has long been among the fiercest of those willing to take on the firearms lobby.

All this adds up to a post-Easter debate in which the horror brought on by unfettered gun rights will be replayed over and over on the floor of Congress and in the halls of a legislature often too frightened to act. Its only defense for subjecting us to the killing streets and mindless slaughter is that it is a constitutional right.

Meanwhile, the picture of the beautiful little Georgia boy, shown on TV, should be placed on the desk of every lawmaker.

Dan K. Thomasson is former editor of the Scripps Howard News Service.
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East Cobb Senior
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March 28, 2013
What an idiotic headline. It only demonstrates the lengths Liberals will go to make a point. For you to believe that any sane rational person, whether Law abiding Gun Owners, NRA members or 2nd Amendment advocates would defend or subscribe to such a heinous act is both ludicrous and outrageous. In your ridiculous commentary, you say “the argument is irrelevant that the heinous crime was committed by “people and not guns” because it couldn’t have happened without one”. Yes, one criminal person, the gun did not discharge on its own, load itself or have legs to go to the scene of the crime. It’s the crime not the means to perpetrate it that matters. You fail, as all you Liberals do, to mention that he could have used a knife, a club, an ax or any other type of weapon to threaten this poor woman. These low life thugs would have inflicted bodily harm on her and her precious baby regardless of the weapon at hand. Your liberal obsession to ban guns, blaming the gun and not the person, puts your credibility to discuss anything of substance way below the freezing mark.

And here again you expose your liberal bias through your condemnation of blocking the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to a seat on the prestigious District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. I commend those Republicans and Democrats that saw the folly in her becoming an Appeals Court Judge. Halligan as Solicitor General of New York demonstrated her quirky reasoning by bringing suit against gun manufacturers. Using her irrational rationale, maybe we should bring suit against knife manufacturers because knives are used to kill people or automobile manufacturers and the liquor/spirits industry because people are killed in cars and by drunk drivers. This type of thinking is “knee jerk” and we don’t need “knee jerk” liberals interpreting our laws and more importantly our Constitution.

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