Yesterday, a crazed lunatic went to a community college in Oregon, where he killed nine people and wounded at least 20 before he was shot dead. President Obama hustled to call a press conference, in one of the fastest responses I’ve ever seen from him, to turn this into political spectacle before we had much, if any, information about what happened.
“And what’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation,” said the president. The president went on to idealize Australia and England, countries that virtually ban firearm ownership entirely, so I don’t think Obama really wants any kind of actual reform — I think he wants to ban guns.
“We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it,” said Obama.
But let’s talk about this “common-sense gun legislation.” What does that actually look like?
We hear this from the gun-control groups, we hear this from politicians, we hear this from President Obama — but we never hear what “common-sense” gun reform actually includes.
Does it include background checks? You can’t buy a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer without having a background check. You cannot purchase a firearm if you are a felon or if you are adjudicated as mentally ill. What additional criteria need to be included in federal background checks? In August of this year, 1.5 million background checks were conducted on firearms purchasers, a record. So what “common-sense additions” can we include in the background checks that aren’t there already? Should we include misdemeanor convictions? Misdemeanor charges? As far as mental illness is concerned, should we include anyone suspected of mental illness? In therapy? On anti-depressants? Strange postings on social media? Just strange in general? Will we set up a hotline to report these suspected individuals?
How about mandatory waiting periods? Should we force people to wait a set amount of time before they can take possession of a purchased firearm? Nothing stops a murderous lunatic from simply waiting out the time period and going along his murderous business, whether he waits five days, ten days or a month.
The Oregon community college campus was already a gun-free zone. Even the security guard only carried mace. Should we include more “gun free” spaces in our “common-sense” reforms, even though it appears they don’t work? I’ll put aside the fact that a “gun free” zone is merely advertising that a locale is full of helpless victims in-waiting, should someone be inclined to face little to no resistance during their violent rampage.
We have many laws on the books that are related to gun crimes that are violated in the process of actually committing the crime. Murder? Illegal. Stealing guns to use in a crime, like the Sandy Hook shooter did? Illegal. Do we need more laws on the books that will be ignored by people who, by definition, do not respect the law?
But let’s hear some details about this “common sense” legislation we need that would prevent insane maniacs and criminals from slaughtering people, assuming of course we aren’t really talking about a gun ban.