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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

WASHINGTON — Talk about power: The gun lobby barely had to say a word before the media sent advocates of saner gun regulation shuffling off in defeat.

In a political version of Stockholm syndrome, even those who claim to disagree with the National Rifle Association’s absolutist permissiveness on firearms lulled themselves into accepting the status quo by reciting a script of gutless resignation dictated by the merchants of death.

It’s a script built on half-truths and myths. For example, polls showing declining support for gun control in the abstract were widely cited, while polls showing broad backing for carefully tailored laws were largely ignored.

Arguments that gun regulation won’t accomplish anything were justified with citations of academic studies that offer mixed or inconclusive verdicts. In the wake of last week’s killings in Colorado, these studies were deployed to hide the elephant in the room: that our country is the scene of more gun deaths than any other wealthy nation in the world. And it isn’t even close.

A study last year in the Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care analyzed gun death statistics for 2003 from the World Health Organization Mortality Database. It found that 80 percent of all firearms deaths in 23 industrialized countries occurred in the United States. For women, the figure rose to 86 percent; for children 14 and under, to 87 percent. Can anyone seriously claim that our comparatively lax gun laws had nothing to do with these blood-drenched data?

Some of the evasions are couched in compassion. We are told that the real answer to mass slaughter lies not in better gun statutes but in more attentiveness to those afflicted with psychological problems.

  • ExPAVIC

    GUTLESS MY FOOT

    The Democrats lost too many elections local, state and national by championing that quagmire topic of gun control. Let the American Taliban Republicans latch on to that baby for awhile.

    As you may recall 2000, 2004 and 2006 may have turned out a little better (like no George W. maybe) if the party didn’t get so excited over rednecks bearing guns.

    Tell Director Moore to hang gun control on a hook, or go out to Cedar Falls, Iowa, and talk the pickup truck people to give up their vintage Winchester Model 94’s along with their new AK-47’s. Good luck.

    Too bad St. Pierre of the NRA still likes to bang on the Democrats. He doesn’t realize that gun control is, thankfully, no longer on the party “plank.”

  • pja1961

    I grew up with six brothers. My mother banned all guns – my dad had to leave his on the farm when he married. All my brothers lived and we nev er missed anything growing up in a gun-free environment.

  • tcburch

    Who thinks it’s only Republicans, Tea Partiers, and Conservatives that own guns and support the 2nd amendment? That’s where the Dems fail…they don’t recognize this is not a political issue.

    • ObozoMustGo

      tc… you are correct! It is an AMERICAN issue, not a party issue.

      Have a nice day!

  • We do not need gun control legislations we need to repeal the second. The amendment has been taken over to justify the mass slaughter of our citizens, to create a new market for our guns in countries around the world and destabilize our local and national elections.
    The amendment was designed to allow a very small and defenseless country to have a basic militia for its protection, since we are now the aggressor in most wars, it would be the right time to disband all those well organized militia that have been created and just let the blunderbuss of yore go away.
    For all you aspiring minutemen, if you feel that isatiable urge to fondle your dildos, join the army, a police force or become a mall guard.

    • ace

      Any one that thinks gun control will work are just plain ignorant how are you or any one else going to find the millions of guns the crooks, And any one that does not have gun at home does not care about his family.

      • Landsende

        Since when did having a gun equate with caring for your family? My parents never owned a gun and they loved and cared for us. My husband and I never owned a gun and our children always felt loved and cared for. Being there to teach them values and supporting them in their endeavors is caring. If you feel the need to own a firearm, fine, but don’t say that someone that chooses not to, doesn’t care for their family.

  • ObozoMustGo

    DemocRATS always lose on “gun control” because of that nasty little document called “The Constitution” and the pesky little 2nd Amendment. Any politician stupid enough to challenge it will justifiably be a losing politician. Of course, leftist DemocRATS are stupid losers anyway, but that’s besides the point. Americans like their guns and their rights and we’re not giving them up. And we are especially weary of letting the camel get its’ nose in tent. NOT gonna happen.

    Have a nice day!

    • Dave_dido

      I thought you said it was an American issue and not a party issue. Your comment above is a contradiction, Mr. Obozo. If you could just overcome your neuroses about “leftist Democrats” then you might be able to contribute something meaningful to these posts. As it is, you make yourself irrelevant. Sorry.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Dave…. nothing in my post goes against the fact that guns are an American issue. And the party that goes against it will lose every time because IT IS AN AMERICAN ISSUE. Don’t you get it? Knock knock… helloooo… is anyone in there????

        Have a nice day!

        • Dave_dido

          You were commenting on TCBURCH’s post in which he commented that Dems seem to think that only Repubs, Tea-Partyers and conservatives own guns.He said it was” not a political issue” and you agreed saying, “It is an American issue, not a party issue.” Then in your next post you made it a party issue by saying,” Democrats always lose on gun control because of that nasty little document called “The Constitution” and the pesky little second amendment.” Now if that’s not making it a political issue, I don’t know what is. What exactly did you mean when you said it’s “not a party issue”? What qualifies as a “party issue”? Of course, almost all of the posts in the National Memo are about American issues- that goes without saying. When we talk about healthcare or superpacs or welfare or taxes in these posts we’re not talking about Russian or French things, are we?My point is that you make every issue a political issue by your incessant ranting about democRATS and “leftist nutjobs”. Can you ever discuss an issue without trying to polarize everone involved in the discussion as “left” or “right”?

          • ObozoMustGo

            Nice try. What you fail to understand is that DemocRATS lose on this issue all the time because they support gun control or banning of guns. I can assure that if a Republican had the same position, he/she would be equally challenged to win in 99% of America. This is what TC and I mean when we say it is an “American issue”. It DOESNT MATTER which party you are in if you support gun control. Contrast that to abortion. Dems like abortions, Repubs dislike abortions. Not 100%, of course, but you can draw this issue pretty much on party lines. Can you figure this out now? I know you guys on the left are severely challenged in the logic department when it comes to political and economic thought, but I’m trying to make it easy for you.

            Have a nice day!

  • The hypocracy of it all is that the same conservatives rabidly defending the Second Amendment are just as quick to attack the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

    We The People need to get our act together and build a CONSISTENT approach to these issues. Either all amendments are absolute and cannot be abridged for the sake of public safety, or reasonable limits are both responsible and constitutionally valid to prevent the worse excesses of fanatical violent behavior.

  • Nick559

    What the media and anti-gun groups fail to see and don’t want people to realize is that the vast majority of Americans will not support anti-gun candidates anymore. With crime and criminals out of control, lenient courts and punishment systems and “criminal’s rights” people are just fed up with being victims. Statistically and amazingly, the fastest growing group of CCW permit holders is now Black Women.

    It’s not the NRA or Lobbying Groups, it’s the Voters!!! That’s why politicians who are anti-gun back down. They are the ones that throw out the politicians that vote against their rights. The media touts anti-gun rhetoric to everyone everyday. Lobbyists and groups like the the NRA do the same thing to the voters (ie. inform them) and they are branded as extremists and bad guys by the media and anti-gun politicians. It’s the media being the pot calling the kettle black.

  • sigrid28

    With respect to the 2003 gun violence statistic cited in E. J. Dionne’s latest piece on the subject, I suspect there are many women already fed up with the Republican Party’s assault on women’s rights. That women and children are victims more often in the U.S. than in other countries on the WHO Mortality Database should give us all pause, even those who construe a modern purpose for the Second Amendment. The Republic Party’s intimate connection to the NRA may turn off more than one woman voter.

    What would happen if those providing the instruments of gun violence (expand “providing” to include the NRA, which avidly supports our national addiction) were to be held accountable in much the same way that cigarette manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and smokers (who pay high taxes on cigarettes) were and are? Legal initiatives (such as rules governing advertising and labeling, etc.) followed stiff monetary awards by juries in civil cases. Let lawyers and victims wade in where civil servants (remember when senators and representatives used to go under that heading?) fear to tread. The gun lobby has pockets deep enough to support Super-PACs, after all. Perhaps victims of gun violence should be the recipients of just a little of that largess.

    With respect to victims of gun violence, here is another reason to vote against the Republican Party and its blind devotion to the NRA. The Affordable Health Care Act will eventually alleviate some of the misery added to the problems of Aurora’s injured who happen to be uninsured or underinsured. I hope the NRA is making large donations to the many web sites devoted to aiding victims of the theatre massacre. Republicans believe in private charity, don’t they? If they and the NRA were truly on the side of guns and not defending gun violence, they should give generously to these victims and their families.

    Finally, if the Affordable Health Care Act is to be a living, breathing, and growing feature of the United States health care system, it must address mental health concerns. Treating mental illness and chronic disorders of the brain as medical rather than psychiatric would go a long way toward identifying individuals who should receive treatment and, perhaps, be restricted from owning guns and ammunition and gun gear. Called “mental health parity,” this progressive approach to mental health was enacted in Massachusetts under Governor Rommey, where the majority are pleased with outcomes statewide. So, those who argue so persuasively that “guns don’t kill, people do” and support Romney, should consider voting for President Obama, because, as we all know by now, if Romney is elected, he plans on repealing Obamacare on day one.

    • Nick559

      So if we are to follow this way of thinking, we will no longer need a criminal justice system since no one will be responsible for their actions. We’ll be able to save all that money and put it into more social programs to help those who do wrongs from never doing them again.

      • sigrid28

        The criminal justice system would go along swimmingly, as it does now despite the ministrations of the civil courts. There would still be government funding running the criminal justice system, and many lawyers making a good living. But if we could save money, perhaps it could go toward helping uninsured victims of gun carnage in this country. Believe me, we will run out of money long before we run out of them.

  • sjensen6022

    Who says that the assault rifle ban worked? Besides, there were no assault rifles needed for the OKC bombing. We didn’t ban fertilizer after that.

    • Dave_dido

      Mr Dionne cites statistics related to death by firearms. Oklahoma City, 911, terrorist bombings in Europe, etc. are not the topic of this article. Those awful events are for a separate discussion.Your comment about a ban on fertilizer,while perhaps thought-provoking, is not pertinent to the issue of death by firearms. The fact remains that the U.S. is way out in front in death by firearms. Can we do better? I think we can. As with healthcare, education and a whole host of other issues, it all depends on what kind of country we want to have. Maybe it doesn’t matter to you that we have more deaths by firearms than the rest of the industrialized world combined. To me it is a statistic that brings shame to the country I love.

    • Cirriuos

      People keep bringing up the OKC bombing as an example of why there shouldn’t be restrictions on semi auto guns/high capacity magazines when indeed the comparison is more apt then they realize!

      1) The fertilizer used by the OKC bomber was ammonium nitrate and it’s sale since the OKC bombing has been regulated. There is discussion about further tightening those regulations. Google ammonium nitrate regulations and you’ll get a slew of infromation. 2) Access to the federal buildings by vehicles and pedestarians has been altered and tightly controlled.

      There are large concrete posts and no parking restrictions in front of many public buildings from local court houses to federal buildings. I remember when those did not exist.

  • widollar

    The power of the gun lobby clearly demonstrates why America is in the dumpster. Special interest Groups have bought Congress, and the middle class of America suffers. But that’s the GOP Master Plan. Mitt Romney will buy the oval office with the help of his billionare buddies, and then the great train wreck for the middle class begins, unfortunately!

  • Nick559

    The criminal system is the drain. just compare court costs and fees compared to the civil systems. Taxpayers flip the bill for the criminal justice system almost in it’s entirety.

  • mhuff255

    this isn’t a 2nd amendment issue it’s about keeping guns out of the hands of people that don’t legally deserve that right. that slippery slope that the nra constantly talks about when attempting to knock down any rules or regulations tells me that there footing isn’t to good. They should know that it’s in there best interest to eliminate illegally obtained guns.

    manufactures don’t sell guns to person that aren’t legally allow to have them. So that would means that everyone that commits a crime every killing, every robbery had to be SOLD a gun illlegally (small amount stolen) so some legal gun owner sold someone that gun. Shouldn’t they be held responsible… what’s the nra position on there member s selling guns to people that shouldn’t have them…ignorant is no excuse .

    my second point is that gun violence has always been at a acceptable level, meaning that it’s basically an inner city problem black and minorities the poor etc etc etc,,,,now that its a white folk problem playing in the suburbias, it’s a problem…. the nra better wake up because once those republican soccer moms in the burbs decide that this is a problem there husband will be on the spot and all the gun nuts wont have the support of a large part of there base… another tragedy like aurora dead white kids… will tip the balance… i’m the president of the nra get on the side of stopping gun nuts from jeorapizing the rights of those gun owners that follow the rules …. because it’s going to be the gun nuts not liberal politicians that cost them there rights… once the white people in the suburbs don’t feel safe then it becomes a problem thats the reality of america