So far, the aftermath of the Aurora tragedy has followed the usual trajectory. One difference is that I haven’t heard anyone suggest that if we had just posted the Ten Commandments in the movie theater, this tragedy would never have happened. Although maybe someone said that and I missed it.
I hear people carping about the TSA security procedures at airports. Well, just wait. In New York City it’s common to have to walk through a metal detector to enter many office buildings. Lots of schools have metal detectors now, I understand, as well as courthouses and other public buildings. If we keep going down this road, the day may come when people have to empty their pockets and go through a detector just to enter a mall or a movie theater.
The theory on the Right is that lots of guns in the hands of citizens protect our freedoms. Seems to me it’s turning us into a kind of bizarro police state, where our freedom to go where we want to go may be restricted for the sake of security. That’s freedom?
I take the President didn’t say a word about guns in his remarks on the shooting yesterday. The political reality is that guns have become the real third rail of politics. Whatever his personal beliefs are on gun control, President Obama doesn’t dare even mention guns, especially with an election looming. That’s freedom?
I’ve written before that the NRA is going around pushing whackjob state gun laws that are contrary to the will of the people in that state. But the state legislators don’t dare say no to the NRA. That’s freedom?
The fact is, there is a strong correlation between high rates of gun ownership and high rates of gun fatalities in the U.S. And “stand your ground” laws have led to an increase in homicides. That’s freedom?
In some parts of the country, such as New York City, most people don’t think it’s a good idea to let anyone carry a concealed weapon anywhere he wants. We don’t need shoot-outs on crowded subway cars, thanks much. But if the NRA had its way, concealed carry would be lawful in New York, and the people of New York wouldn’t have anything to say about it. And you might as well retire the metal detectors, because the NRA will see to it that people can lawfully carry concealed weapons anywhere they want. Our life or death will depend on the mental health of the people around us.
The fact is, more guns in circulation and fewer restrictions on guns purchases and carrying puts the public at a higher risk of gun violence, which little by little is causing us to rely on security measures that restrict our freedom of movement. Thanks loads, NRA.
Here’s a nice background article on the history of guns in America. Did you know that in the 19th century it was common for guns to be outlawed within city limits, and no one complained about their rights being violated?