Friday, January 8, 2016
The Status Quo Lives!....with EDIT
Did anyone but me watch the Townhall Meeting last night where Prez O'Bama politely sparred with pro-gun advocates? As expected, when the dust settled, the status quo was still intact. I can't for the life of me understand why the pro-gun side still believes the Federales are intent on coming for their guns (it's a physical impossibility), and why the anti-gun advocates believe that the pro-gun side will someday just say, "Oh, OK, we'll do it your way." Square peg, round hole.
Full disclosure: I have guns. I enjoy shooting them. I have a Concealed Handgun License. I will not carry openly. I am not a member of the NRA. I'm a political skeptic. I don't trust either side. I (arguably) have a fair amount of gray matter between my ears.
On O'Bama's proposal to require background checks on all gun purchases, I don't see a problem with it. If I were a federally licensed gun dealer, I'd be all for it in order to level the playing field. Am I worried about having my name on a federal database identifying me as a gun owner? Ha! I suspect my name is on a whole lot of private and government databases already. What's one more?
If the feds someday come to my house to confiscate my guns, I'll just say "no". I'll have a legion of Pro Bono lawyers line up to represent me (and enhance their reputation), and I'll win. And when I do, I'll never have to buy another restaurant meal or beer ever again. I'll be a folk hero. Gun makers will fawn all over me, and will happily give me their products just to see me photographed holding one. And the feds know it. It's a DOA idea if there ever was one.
Will more background checks keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them? Highly doubtful. Will the NRA-types ever be willing to give it a try? Lololololol!
So can we do anything to curb gun violence, something that both sides might buy into? I think so. It's common knowledge that convicted felons have, by existing law, forfeited many of their civil rights, including the right to own a gun. It's also common knowledge that many convicted felons continue to own guns, and continue to use them. So lets round 'em up and lock 'em away!
Oops....one little problem. It costs LOTS of money to incarcerate a person. I suspect we could get hundreds of thousands of felons in possession of guns off our streets if we would just put a concerted effort into going after them. BUT WE WOULD ALSO HAVE TO AGREE TO PAY THE PRICE TO BUILD MORE PRISON CELLS, AND HIRE MORE PRISON GUARDS, and probably pay more welfare to the families left behind by their now-jailed breadwinners.
So, can we afford it? No...and yes. The original numbers to do all this would be staggering, and the Tea Party would no doubt piss and moan about it because all they know how to say is "cut taxes". But then once some non-partisan think tanks examined it, I think they would find that since the perps would likely wind up back in jail at some time in the future anyway, and the cost of legal proceedings and public defenders being what they are, yeah, we probably could afford it. It fact, it would likely be a good investment of taxpayer money.
I'd love to see the NRA try and oppose such a strategy, try to oppose putting bad guys back behind bars. The most hemophilic of the bleeding heart left might bemoan yet more people being locked up vs rehabbed, but I think they could be drowned out by the public applauding the lower gun violence numbers.
So why don't we think more outside the box to find things that could be agreed to by all sides? Have we become that unimaginative? *shaking head*
EDIT: The news is reporting a Philadelphia police officer was ambushed in his car by an assailant claiming to be an ISIS sympathizer. But beyond that, he also had a lengthy criminal record. This is EXACTLY the type of gun violence that could be prevented if felons in possession of guns could be locked up.