Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
There have been eight shooting rampages that have claimed 57 lives since March 10. It would be easy to simply dismiss the shooters as just "a crazy with a gun" or "a criminal" as Glenn Beck has. Oh, but not so fast, Glenn.
The shooters had more in common than unleashing carnage — nearly every gunman in this monthlong series of mass killings was legally entitled to fire his weapons. Many Recent Shooters Had Gun Permits
Assuming, arguendo, that the shooters purchased their guns from a reputable gun dealer who complied with the law by having the purchaser complete a background check, one can also assume that the shooters did not have a criminal record or a history of institutionalization for a mental disorder. They were just regular Joes, law abiding citizens.
Of course, these are big assumptions. There are a small number of disreputable gun dealers known to be the source for the movement of large numbers of illicit weapons in this country, yet the states in which these dealers are located allow them to continue to operate. Then there is the "gun show loophole" and private sales of firearms where background checks are not required. Then there is always the possibility that the purchaser lied and due to lax regulations and enforcement they simply slipped through the cracks.
So what does that say about the state of gun control laws in this country? One thing appears certain: the regulations aren't getting stricter. Many recent efforts to change weapons laws have been about easing them.
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Scott Vogel of the Freedom States Alliance, a gun control activist group, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, says existing laws are already too weak — just look at the men who received gun permits, legally bought high-powered weapons, and then mowed down family, friends and total strangers in these past few weeks, they say.
Despite all the right-wing hysteria since election day claiming that "Obama is coming to confiscate your guns," and "Nancy Pelosi wants to tax your ammunition," there is no movement toward stricter gun regulations in this country. Period. The trend is actually going the other way, making gun ownership easier and with far fewer regulations.
Last month, 65 House Democrats said they would block any attempt to resurrect an expired federal ban against assault weapons.
The pro-gun Democrats, led by Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, wrote Attorney General Eric Holder saying they opposed not only a ban on military-style guns, but also efforts "to pass any similar law."
It appears to me that all this unhinged hysteria is being fueled by the selfish interests of the NRA which wants to increase its membership to maintain its leading role in the right-wing wedge issue politics of "Guns, God and gays," and the gun manufacturers and dealers themselves who stand to profit handsomely from this manufactured "panic." They have created their own "stimulus" plan during this recession/depression by stoking people's irrational fears.
Attorney Jeffrey Chamberlain, a former Rochester prosecutor and chief counsel to the New York State Police, thinks the answer to gun violence lies not in stricter regulations, but in answering the question, "Why are we so tolerant of having guns in this country? The answer to that is historical. We've had guns for a very long time."
"I can't think of any sweeping law change that would address that."
To Scott Vogel of the Freedom States Alliance, the answer to why atrocities happen in places such as Binghamton, and before that Washington state and Santa Clara, Calif., lies in sheer numbers.
The number 280 million, to be precise, the estimated total of every gun in this country.
"When you have that many guns, those guns are going to be used in horrific ways," Vogel said. "There's just too many. Inevitably, somehow, some way, those weapons are going to be used in an egregious way."
Happiness is a warm gun
Happiness is a warm gun
When I hold you in my arms
And I feel my finger on your trigger
I know no one can do me no harm
Because happiness is a warm gun
-Yes it is.