Politicians Won’t Push For Gun Control Without Push From Us

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gun control debateHow can you not look at the aftermath of the horrific shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., without even the slightest bit of skepticism?

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As Roger Ebert asserted in his New York Times op-ed:

The endless gun control debate will begin again, and the lobbyists of the National Rifle Association will go to work, and the op-ed thinkers will have their usual thoughts, and the right wing will issue alarms, and nothing will change. And there will be another mass murder.

Began again it has and already we’ve been given clear indication that no politician wants to make any real move toward curing the symptom that arms the evil lurking inside the James Holmeses of the world, let alone the disease.

As expected, Mitt Romney chimed in that we don’t need anymore gun laws regulating who should and shouldn’t have access to certain weaponry.

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Romney explained to CNBC’s Lawrence Kudlow:

I still believe that the Second Amendment is the right course to preserve and defend and don’t believe that new laws are going to make a difference in this type of tragedy.

Yes, that is a crock, of course it’s a ridiculous interpretation of the Second Amendment, and duh, this is another instance of Romney flip-flopping: Before Mitt and the NRA became BFFs of convenience, Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney banned the very kind of assault weapons Holmes used in the Colorado mass movie theater murders. He used to support the Brady gun control law, too, though, naturally his ambition-spawning amnesia has led him to forget such matters.

Unfortunately, on this issue, President Barack Obama has a lot in common with the competition.

Back in 2007, a would-be President Obama said the gun violence ravaging the south side of Chicago was “sickening the soul of this nation.” Obama said he would seek to reinstate the ban on assault weapons and make it permanent within his first 100 days in office.

That never happened, but Chicago still suffers and suburbia continues to prove itself to be just as susceptible to gun violence as most major cities.

Nevertheless, White House spokesperson Jay Carney says that the president “has no plans to push new gun control measures.”

Understandably, this has disheartened many.

Salon’s Joan Walsh stated flatly:

“How sad is that: We have multiple presidential speeches about gun massacres to compare in 18 months.”

A congresswoman gets shot in the head in the parking lot of a grocery store, everyday people get slaughtered in a movie theater, and yet as Walsh points out, “This time around, Democrats are as cowardly as Republicans when it comes to standing up to the gun lobby.”

Even conservatives are disappointed with Democrats.

Conservative commentator Bill Kristol said on FOX News Sunday:

People have a right to handguns and hunting rifles. I don’t think they have a right to semi-automatic, quazi-machine guns that can shoot hundred bullets at a time. And I actually think the Democrats are being foolish as they are being cowardly. I think there is support for some moderate forms of gun control if they separate clearly from a desire to take away everyone’s handguns or hunting rifles. …President Obama on this one is just unwilling to take a strong stance.”

Not all Democrats are cowering.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) is calling for a reinstatement of the assault rifles ban. Unfortunately, a senior Democratic aid says a gun control bill is unlikely to be taken up.

On all this nice talk but no real action, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg said on WOR Radio’s “The John Gambling Show”:

Soothing words are nice, but maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country.

Indeed, the words of Obama, Romney, and other politicians remind me of singer Sunshine Anderson lyrics:

All of ya lies, all of ya sweet talk 
Baby this, Baby that
But your lies ain’t working now look who’s hurting now

People have a right to be disappointed in seeing our leaders pussyfoot around gun control despite so many vivid examples of why it is necessary, Rupert Murdoch reminded me of the power we all have in changing that.

The media mogul took to Twitter to write:

We have to do something about gun controls. Police license okay for hunting rifle or pistol for anyone without crim or pscho record. No more

Of course, he has more power than the majority of us, but there’s something to be said about knowing the strength of your voice all the same.

It’s funny to read Murdoch write, “We have to do something about gun control.”  You would think someone who owned FOX News, the Wall Street Journal, and a host of other media entities that make it hard for even the NRA to compete might flex his muscle in mobilizing troops to put pressure on these scared politicians to finally do something.

In the meantime, we have the option of starting petitions, organizing rallies, bombarding Obama and Romney with questions on the matter at their campaign rallies, or something as simple as contacting your local representative and letting him or her know that it’s time to act.

It sounds so easy (because it is), and you would think that finally people would jump on the bandwagon en masse, but thus far, the overall tone seems largely defeated.

Sure, it’s understandable to be skeptical, but it’s worth noting that we don’t have to linger in that sentiment — that is, if we’re serious about making sure this doesn’t keep happening.

Sound off!

 

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick

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