There's been a lot of talk about gun control in the aftermath of the massacre, and rightly so. Sadly, much of the talk has been about how gun control is off the table--another political third rail.
This page has noted before that it's time to call out the NRA. Time to tell home truths--that the NRA and its allies are the witting or unwitting allies of organized crime, specifically drug cartels, and of international terrorism.
A few other observations: Writing in The New York Times, Roger Ebert sagely notes that, " In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended." Yes. And its not just in Aurora. No one shot back at Virginia Tech, or Columbine (though I shudder to think of legalizing guns in schools, there are some assertedly sane people who advocate that), or at the shooting of Cong. Gabrielle Giffords, or at any of the other mass murders that have stained our country. If the nearly 300 million guns that are out there aren't being used to protect the citizenry from crazy killers, isn't the private-law-enforcement theory proved totally bankrupt?
Along that line, a letter in The Times commented, "Let’s say movie theater patrons were allowed to carry guns. When one or more moviegoers exiting the theater reached for his or her gun to stop the first shooter, it would be unknown to the many bystanders whether they were acting in collusion. This is why the first armed individual who arrived on the scene of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting didn’t pull out his weapon. He did not want to be mistaken for a second gunman."
If we polled law enforcement professionals, do you think they would favor more control of dangerous weapons?
That brings up another point. Some of those who believe most passionately in what they mistakenly call the right to bear arms (more on that below) also espouse the notion that our rights are in danger. To them, an armed citizenry is the last line of defense against totalitarianism. Yet we don't hear them protesting against government reading their emails, or the proliferation of video cameras covering more and more of the public space. If we want to protect our form of government, doesn't it make more sense to provide space for private thought and private action, rather than arming for Armageddon? Or perhaps Armageddon is only an excuse.
(About the "right to bear arms." In context, that clearly means the right to stand in the nation's defense. When the 2nd Amendment was adopted, the framers who spoke of the "right to bear arms," meant the right of citizens to belong to the militia (hence the prefatory phrase, "A well regulated Militia, being essential to the security of a free State..."). The men who wrote the Amendment meant to secure the right of states to raise militias, as a counterweight to a national army. So, you want to exercise your right to bear arms? Join the National Guard. And, yes, I know that a majority of the Supreme Court disagrees. But on this, as on many things, that majority is wrong.)