A nation awash in guns

Federal agents recovered 283 guns and silencers during an undercover investigation into the illegal manufacture and sale of firearms. Three Stockton men were among eight people indicted, including an employee of the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office. Photos courtesy of the U.S. Attorney's Office

Good column by Max Boot in the Washington Post:

“It simply beggars the imagination that Republicans, in thrall to the National Rifle Association, continue to insist there is no relationship between gun ownership and gun crime. Instead of effective regulations, they offer “thoughts and prayers,” as if mass shootings were acts of God like earthquakes and hurricanes that mere mortals are powerless to prevent.

“This was Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R.-La.) after the Las Vegas shooting: “I just hate to see this issue politicized. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people, but they do in this world, and what happened in Las Vegas was terrible. But we can’t legislate away every problem in the world.”

“This is the excuse for inaction as our children get slaughtered? A rationale that would not convince an intelligent 12-year-old? No, Congress can’t legislate away every problem in the world, and no one is asking it to. No one even expects Congress to stop all mass shootings. But Congress has the power to make such shootings rarer and less deadly.”

Honestly, I’m sick of do-nothing politicians whose public safety lobe has been lobotomized by the NRA. Vote them out.

Here are some reader thoughts:

• Stew Tabak: “I completely agree — it is disgusting how politicians (mostly Republicans, I should add) are under a zombie-like spell of the NRA. Money is control, and the control results in their knee-jerk mantra. I am so impressed by the fortitude of these students who are committed to seeing action; I just hope that they do not become discouraged by the political resistance.”

• Harlan Hague: “It’s so baffling that while an overwhelming majority of the American people favor gun control and background checks, politicians balk. No, it actually is not baffling. The support from gun rights Neanderthals and the NRA is the answer.”

• David Canclini: “I would like for you to stop by the Trap Shooting Range at the Stockton-Waterloo Gun and Bocci Club some Wednesday evening around 5:00 to see what kids are doing with firearms! Also, if you want to really have your eyes opened, come out and watch a youth competition shoot. You will see over 400 children from 8 – 18 years of age waking around with “GUNS’ in their hands! OH MY GOD! The thing is….. No one gets hurt. It must be a miracle!”

• Peggy Gutierri: “This is another instance where we need a middle ground (as opposed to knee jerk Pro/Con) so we come together to get ACTION.”

• Valita Schut: “What about a walk-around SUSD to inspect the school facilities where thousands of our local children go to school everyday? My classroom door opens out and cannot be blocked. To lock it, I must step outside. When I asked about this problem, I was told to keep my door locked everyday. Not a practical solution, but certainly a cheap solution.

“Why can’t we take protection of SUSD’s students and teachers seriously? We have evidence that safety issues matter and parents and the community put their trust in us. That pat answer I was given doesn’t take away the twist in my stomach when I see someone pass by the classroom window, however. SUSD should address safety from all angles – drills, facilities, workshops. I haven’t heard that any measures are being taken to address safety at our schools.”

• Bruce Adams: “After 35 years of wearing a military uniform, I see no reason why private citizens need assault rifles. Hunting deer and big game? There are hunting rifles specially designed for that. Target practice? Use a small caliber weapon if you fancy becoming a marksman.

“If you want to use an assault rifle, then our military recruiters would be happy to discuss opportunities. Plenty of places in the world today where you can project the tough guy image carrying your government issued AR-15 or perhaps something even larger depending on how macho you think you are, of course you have to prove it to some Drill Sergeants first.”

“Not your cup of tea? Then contribute to American safety by assisting police and first responders, or your local neighborhood watch.”

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  • Blog Author

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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