After each horrific shooting, some leaders in Washington have said the solution is to do nothing, simply continue to enforce the existing laws, just as we have been doing. The gun lobby, meanwhile, calls for weakening our already paltry laws to get more guns to more people in more places. It is time for the gun lobby to stop stoking fear among gun owners with false claims about the government. It is time for the gun industry to stop capitalizing on those ginned-up fears to spread weapons of war among the public.
The gun lobby's rhetoric has consequences. We have seen how profound those consequences can be.
We have a gun crisis in America. As important as the economic crisis is, the right to be safe at home and work and play needs at least as much attention from our policymakers as the right to economic security. It is time for leaders in Washington to drop empty platitudes after each horrific shooting, and instead do what they're paid to do: show backbone, and enact reasonable laws to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.
Helmke's argument is completely disingenuous: does he really think psychos who want to murder dozens of people will be stopped by yet another law? No, I don't think he does. Is the Brady Campaign only in favor of "reasonable laws" that "keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people"? No, they favor banning all guns. (As does President Obama.)
Let's turn the tables: how many people have died because of anti-gun nuts? How many murders could have been prevented if the victim were armed instead of helpless? How many rapes? How many kidnappings? How many robberies? How many millions? Guns are used in self-defense every day.
And of course, what's the difference between a citizen and a peasant? A gun.