Movie theater shooting: Why can’t we have tougher gun control laws?

No matter what the National Rifle Association (NRA) and it’s supporters say, it is not off limits to talk about tougher gun control laws. It’s not disrespectful to the victims to have an adult conversation about restricting the sales of assault weapons and extended clips, things that are not needed to protect yourself or your family.

The Second Amendment does not specifically spell out what kind of gun you can legally own. The constitution is intentionally vague, and nowhere is that more apparent than the text of the Second Amendment: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

What does that even mean? It certainly doesn’t say anything about the type of “arms” that can be kept. Because it is not clearly defined, it is up to us as a society to define our laws to fit our values and morals. We should not relegate our lawmaking to those who insist on taking absolutist positions like the gun lobby and the NRA. We can have a Second Amendment at the same time we have restrictions on the extreme versions of “arms” that are available in 2012.

from AP:

Calls for gun control stir little support

Gun control advocates sputter at their own impotence. The National Rifle Association is politically ascendant. And Barack Obama’s White House pledges to safeguard the Second Amendment in its first official response to the deaths of at least 12 people in a mass shooting at a new Batman movie screening in suburban Denver.

Once, every highly publicized outbreak of gun violence produced strong calls from Democrats and a few Republicans for tougher controls on firearms.

Now those pleas are muted, a political paradox that’s grown more pronounced in an era scarred by Columbine, Virginia Tech, the wounding of a congresswoman and now the shooting in a suburban movie theater where carnage is expected on-screen only.

“We don’t want sympathy. We want action,” Dan Gross, president of the Brady campaign said Friday as President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney mourned the dead.

Ed Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, was more emphatic than many in the early hours after the shooting. “Everyone is scared of the NRA,” he said on MSNBC. “Number one, there are some things worth losing for in politics and to be able to prevent carnage like this is worth losing for.”

Yet it’s been more than a decade since gun control advocates had a realistic hope of getting the type of legislation they seek, despite predictions that each shocking outburst of violence would lead to action.

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Human InterestSensible Gun Safety

#Aurora#bear arms#Colorado#gun control#gunman#guns#mass-shooting#movie theater shooting#nra#second amendment#violence

  • Even the otherwise loathsome Piers Morgan mentioned the need for gun control laws and he was instantly attacked by the right wing media for having a left-wing agenda and for “exploiting the massacre.”

    When every issues has been divided like it is now, with absolutely no middle viewpoint represented in the media, then any sane voice get drowned out in the extremist racket.

    • I think most of the people calling for tougher gun control laws are coming from a middle perspective on this issue. A more leftist viewpoint would be to either repeal the second amendment or have such heavy gun restrictions that it severely limits the scope of the second amendment. You don’t hear any calls for that, not even from me! 🙂

      And this shows you how far we’ve moved to the extreme gun rights position in this country. And let’s be clear, it’s not actually about gun rights, it’s about paranoia and gun sales.

      • The Far Right (which is nearly the ONLY Right nowadays) has managed to label any reasonable and sensible discussion of controls on guns as robbing somebody of their constitutional right to bear arms. It’s that “you’ll have to prey it from my cold dead fingers” meme. In their thinking, it’s an expression of their freedom to carrying a gun even an assault weapon despite the fact that easy-to-obtain weapons of this sort could lead to mayhem in the wrong hands.
        And this has been shown time and time again and nothing seems to alter their view. I would bet that if there were incidents like the one in Aurora every week, they would still argue against any kind of controls.
        OT, a bit but amusing.Once I had an online discussion with a woman who boasted about her Ak-47. She claimed that her gun was both a hunting weapon. (Minced venison?) and a defensive weapon. Frivolously I told her that I totally agreed with her stand and I myself would love to get my hands on a nuclear device. She was shocked. That, she flatly stated, was not protected by the Second amendment. I told her that while there is no mention of atomic weapons- only the term “arms”- there is equally no mention of AK-47s either. She was at a loss for a moment. Then she stated, “But an AK-47 is a defensive weapon and an atomic bomb is not.” I politely informed her that, if that was true, then America’s Cold War policy of mutually assured destruction was completely invalid. I never got an answer.

        The common denominator in both cases, you have already pointed out, is a blind paranoia against a manufactured threat.

        • It does seem to be necessary to take the argument to the level of absurdity (nuclear weapon) to have any chance of making what should be an obvious point. I’ve done this as well. Unfortunately as much as it makes sense to you and I, it doesn’t seem to phase the gun toters. They don’t seem to be able to grasp that we (you and I) are talking in terms of degree and they (gun toters) are talking in terms of absolutism. That is until you bring up the absurdity of a nuclear weapon. It is at that point that you realize they possess a cognitive dissonance that we are unlikely to remedy.

          • Steve

            I’ve actually had people tell me that you SHOULD be allowed to posses nuclear weapons (knowing that in reality people can’t actually get their hands on them), in an effort to remain consistent on their pro-arms stance!

            In a similarly absurd effort to promote guns, I recently heard on one of the news programs, some talking head trying to argue that the movie theater shooting is evidence for why we need MORE guns. He couldn’t believe how long the gunman was allowed to stand there shooting without someone shooting back. Apparently if the movie goers had all brought their guns too, then we would’ve had far less people dying in the crossfire!
            Go to any gun range and take a look at the paper targets after someone unloads a clip. See all the holes that didn’t hit the silhouette of a person on that target? Those are bullets that hit something/someone ELSE! (To say nothing of the shots that ripped right through the person they meant to hit and kept going.) This is in a well lit, controlled environment, in a calm situation, using proper eye and ear protection. Now let’s do that same thing with moving and screaming targets, in a DARK theater, through the smoke, while being bumped into by other panicked people!! Oh yes, more guns would DEFINITELY have made THAT a safer situation, and reduced the unnecessary carnage. It also would’ve made a lot of money for therapists who have to treat not only the victims, but now also the shooters who aren’t able to come to terms with what they’d done. PTSD isn’t just for military people anymore!
            Welcome to America – Mittens ‘012!

          • I blame Hollywood. 🙂 No, not really, but I do think these people who think more guns will solve these problems are living in a Hollywood movie and not reality. Every time we have one of these mass-shootings there are people calling for more guns, more concealed carry. Like you said, everyone will be safer if instead of one shooter we have a plethora of shooters and a hail of gunfire, especially if it’s a dark (and now smoke filled) movie theater.

          • BTW, about the “nuclear” people, at least they are consistent in their absolutist position. 🙂