Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Playing Gotcha With Guns

I don't know why I bothered to check out the latest editorials in the Washington Post. They usually are not only not worth the effort, they almost always raise my blood pressure, which is not the best way to start the day. Foolishly, I had hopes that, given the subject, today would be different. I mean, how could WaPo's fearless leader screw up a call for a ban on assault weapons? Silly me.

Assault weapons are just that: offensive weapons. No self-respecting hunters would use them. They are too unwieldy to place next to or under the bed to stop a crazed intruder. They are intended to mow down another human being. That's what the military arms makers designed them for and that's why they were intended for use on the battlefield. That's also why gangsters of all stripes prefer them.

There is no reasonable excuse for allowing them to be bought and sold to civilians by gun dealers and the ban against such sales should be reinstated. While campaigning, President Obama promised to work for such a ban. Fred Hiatt and his editorial board used that wedge to excoriate the president for not pushing harder on Congress to institute that ban, which would be fine, except that President Obama doesn't actually legislate. That's supposed to be Congress's role, something that apparently Mr. Hiatt has forgotten. I guess the last administration convinced him that imperial presidents can do anything.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón and President Obama said during a news conference in Mexico City last month that roughly 90 percent of the weapons seized in operations against organized crime in Mexico came from the United States. Asked at that news conference whether he planned to keep his campaign promise to reinstate a U.S. ban on assault weapons, Mr. Obama said he still supports the measure. He then proceeded to ease away from the promise by arguing that enacting such a ban would not be easy and pledging to combat gunrunning by enforcing existing laws.

Mr. Obama also has not forged ahead on another campaign promise, to close the loophole that allows buyers at gun shows to forgo background checks if they purchase guns from private sellers or hobbyists rather than from registered dealers. Such loopholes exist in some 30 states. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced a bill last month to close the loophole; Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.) filed a similar bill last week in the House. Mr. Obama should work with the lawmakers to make this sensible and lifesaving provision the law of the land.
[Emphasis added]

This isn't an editorial urging a ban on assault weapons, it's a series of cheap shots against Barack Obama. Yes, Obama could and should use his bully pulpit to bring some pressure to bear on Congress, but it is Congress which is at fault for not showing any spine on the issue. This editorial is transparently all about trying to diminish a popular president.

Sorry, Fred: it's not going to wash. All you've done is convince me that you're the kind of moron which would use the subject of deadly weaponry to attack a president.

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Anonymous PeasantParty said...

"Assault weapons are just that: offensive weapons. No self-respecting hunters would use them. They are too unwieldy to place next to or under the bed to stop a crazed intruder"

Thank You! I'm a self respecting and wildlife respecting hunter. I'm also a self protecting gun owner. I'm also a proud progressive. The repub mantra no longer cuts the mustard.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for that great post. I agree with your every point, about guns and about Obama.

I write about guns every day, almost, from the anti-gun perspective. I'm sure you can imagine some of the comments I attract. But, in arguing with the pro-gun people I learn a lot. They definitely know the subject better than I do.

One idea that everyone seems to agree upon is the wording of the Assault Weapons Ban is not what it should be. They tried to describe aesthetic attributes of certain guns that were easily changed to circumvent the law.

I'm starting too wonder if the ban needs to be on all semi-automatic rifles. Would the deer hunters be content with single-shot bolt actions guns, do you think? If so, this might be the way to go. I'm still harboring a small hope that in the end the Obama crowd will do the right thing about guns. Time will tell.

2:11 AM  

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