Forget change: how about leadership?
So Barack Obama’s given up on banning assault weapons. I guess that shouldn’t surprise us: the Democratic Party’s gutlessness on the issue of gun control has hardly been hidden from view in recent years. I suppose there was no reason to expect Obama to be any different.
Thus, instead of a clean ban on weapons that serve no real purpose other than providing the technology to kill lots of people quickly, we’re going to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into trying to reduce the number of these weapons smuggled into Mexico (which, like all such programs, will inevitably fail).
I mean, why should we keep sharing all the fun with the Mexicans?
President Obama did say that he still personally favors banning assault weapons; it’s just that trying to enact such a ban would be politically inconvenient. You know, just like prosecuting people for torture would be politically inconvenient. And God knows we don’t want to be inconveniencing our political leaders.
What’s particularly pathetic about all this is that Democrats are even wrong about the politics of the issue: they seem to think they can appease the gun lobby. They can’t. In fact, let’s take a minute to revisit a discussion we had here in the café on this very subject a couple of years ago:
“That’s what makes me so angry,” sighed Winston. “Most of the leaders in the Democratic Party know sensible gun control is needed. And they know it would save lives. But for political reasons they’ve decided to stop fighting the gun lobby.”
Horace nodded. “They’re giving the devil a pass.”
“And what’s so stupid about this,” continued Winston, “is it won’t work. Not a chance. Trying to play nice with hardcore gun fanatics is like trying to accommodate cancer and then hoping that it will be reasonable with you in return. But it doesn’t work that way, does it? No, the cancer just keeps growing, demanding more and more of you. The gun lobby’s the same way. It isn’t enough to keep ownership of most handguns legal; they also insist that cop killing bullets must be allowed. Protecting private ownership of high powered hunting rifles isn’t sufficient; no, people also have to be allowed to have semi-automatic weapons that were designed for use in wars. The legal right to keep guns in your home for self protection isn’t enough; instead, people have to be allowed to carry them wherever they want. You know, at the park where your kids play. At the outdoor concert where everyone is getting liquored up.”
“And doesn’t that make you feel safer?” said Horace. “I mean, knowing that the obnoxious drunk sitting next to you may be packing heat . . . and that he may have a perfect legal right to be doing so.”
Winston shook his head in disgust. “And it isn’t even just about gun ownership. These same bastards are also going around the country working to weaken homicide laws . . . trying to expand the legal definition of when it’s alright to kill people. They’re literally trying to make murder legal. And it will never stop. They’ll just keep demanding more and more. And people are going to die because of it.”
And sadly, two years later, this cowardly Democratic sellout to the most extreme elements of the gun lobby is still going strong — with no sign of “change” on the horizon.
I guess change, like time and space, is a relative thing.
April 17th, 2009 at 11:25 am
How about leadership? Well, this is the most astonishingly stupid comment relative to President Obama imaginable. Where does one begin? Really, I am rarely at a loss for words, but you’ve done it. Pres. Obama is schooling the entire world in Leadership. Now, you must mean Water-Walking, Divine Powers, Omnipotence. If you accuse him by implication of lacking these, then your article is less moronic in one way, and more so in another. Shame on you. Shame on BuzzFlash for carrying this idiotic article.
April 17th, 2009 at 5:12 pm
Stupid, moronic, idiotic?
When does the Loving Start?
April 17th, 2009 at 6:41 pm
The issue of gun control vs. gun rights is an especially contentious one at Democratic Underground. It was a learning experience for me to see that it is not just right-wing conservatives who are strong supporters of gun rights, and who oppose gun control.
In the past I have been strongly in favor of gun control, and actually I still am. I used to contribute money to ogranizations like Sarah Brady’s Handgun Control (it used to be called that; it is now called the Brady Center). In recent years I have not been contributing to political and activist organizations due to my job and money circumstances.
Just this afternoon I responded to an action alert from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence to e-mail the California Assembly Public Safety Committee to defeat a couple of bills which would allow more people to “pack heat”. I have always thought, and still think, that it is an insane idea to allow just about anybody to carry a gun around just because the person decides that that is what he/she wants to do. Actually the idea might not be so bad in rural or sparsely populated areas, but I think it is crazy in cities and in densely populated areas.
My personal feelings have been and still are very strongly in favor of reasonable and sensible gun control. However I have stayed out of discussions and arguments about guns in Democratic Underground. There are a lot of sticky issues involved, including of course the Second Amendment. What does the amendment “really” mean? Does it preclude any reasonable gun control? And what about people’s rights to defend themselves. It seems like right wing crazies are now a serious threat, so I can’t argue with somebody on the “left” wanting to have a means of protection from such people.
And of course both sides offer statistics about the dangers of people having guns, or the non-dangers of people having guns, or the dangers of people not having guns.
Buzzflash used to have the feature Ask Rockridge, before the Rockridge Institute closed. I would have wanted to see somebody like George Lakoff explain how one could frame the gun issue in a way so that one would be able to come to a progressive position on the matter in a way in which the concerns of those on both sides of the issue are addressed.
April 19th, 2009 at 12:37 am
Whenever abortion or gun control is brought up, the crazies and the nasties come out of the woodwork. They are seemingly unable to discuss either issue with any semblance of sanity or reason. They immediately start with the name calling, the insults, and the histrionics. I am going to keep a log of Obama’s sell-outs and successes from a Progressive point of view. He evidently is convinced that it was the independents and middle-of-the-roaders who put him into office. While it is undoubtedly true that they voted for him in large numbers, it was the Progressives who worked long, hard hours to be sure that those people DID vote for him. I, personally, feel betrayed by many of his actions and appointments. If he continues to sweep moral and ethical issues under the rug, I will not be working for him in four years. I may vote for him because the Repugnant candidate will most likely be worse; but it will be another case of holding my nose.