Times have certainly evolved since us kids played Cops and Robbers and Cowboys and Injuns, using sticks and broom handles as make-believe guns, to today’s military-type assault weapons used all-too frequently in mass massacres, like the indiscriminate shooting of those in the audience of a movie theater in Colorado, who were mowed down by a demented individual armed with a semi-automatic gun capable of spitting out fifty bullets a minutes with a high-capacity ammunition magazine.
And that the NRA and its supporters in Congress were no more aghast over the fact that he was armed to the teeth with weapons purchased legally from local gun dealers, along with 10,000 bullets he obtained over the interne, than they were when similar slaughters had occurred in the recent past.
That, it was just another example, however horrifying, of the price we must pay in order to preserve the sanctity of the Second Amendment, appears to be the basic argument of the anti-gun control lobby, who contend that it, too, will have a short attention span in the public’s minds.
And they have every reason to believe so, given that whereas twenty years ago polls showed that a substantial majority favored stricter gun controls, Americans now appear to be evenly divided on it.
That while both President Obama and Romney are of the same mindset-to leave well enough alone, and to rely on the existing gun controls to stem the problem-there’s no doubt they’d be committing political suicide, were they to come out four-square for reinstituting the 1994 ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004.
So, the overriding question is, how do we go about dealing with the mass killings of hapless people with assault weapons?
Do we stop them from being bought, and in any number, at gun shows and stores, legally or illegally?
Should we require a longer waiting period and more extensive background checks on would-be buyers than the one that was conducted on the perpetrator of that massacre in Aurora?
Or, do we just throw our hands up in despair, and resign ourselves to the hopelessness of ever being able to effectively cope with that bane of our society; and thus relegate it to the list of other divisive social issues-a la abortion rights-that will, as it now stands, forever remain unresolved?
Those are questions each and every one of us must search their souls in answering.
Quote of the week: “Any SOB who can’t kill a deer with one bullet shouldn’t be allowed to hunt.” Former senator Barry Goldwater commenting on assault weapons.