19 April 2004

Everything's coming up guns n' roses

Dick Cheney addressed the NRA convention this past weekend.

Oh, the possibilities.  Which direction do I go with this one?  Do I laugh about Cheney labeling John Kerry as a threat to gun owners?  What if we took that literally, can you see Kerry holding a bunch of gun people at bay with some other type of federally protected weapon?  The irony...

The Democrats have made guns a non-issue in this campaign.  Kerry has stated that he enjoys hunting.  And Howard Dean was about as pro-gun as any politician I have ever heard.  But the Bush-Cheney machine is in trouble and they know it, so they sent Dick back to the proverbial rhetorical well that for the GOP is the NRA, and laced the water with a healthy dose of misinformation.  I'd be much more grateful if Dick spent his time telling us how he and GW are not threats to job ownership.

The American soldier death toll in Iraq reached 700 this weekend.  Instead of the VP addressing the public with a plan on how we will achieve our goals in Iraq and limit the number of dead soldiers, he panders to a group of extremists.  Instead of a photo of someone in this administration actually attending a funeral, we got a shot of Dick clutching a musket.

My views on guns have changed a lot in the last few years.  I used to think that every gun needed to be eliminated, but I am wise enough now to realize the chances of that ever happening.  I personally will never own a gun, but that does not mean that I think no one should.  It's an individual decision, one that is fairly easy for me.

The NRA is full of nuts though.  If you read the CNN article you see that the father of one of the Columbine victims attempted to get into the convention and was treated poorly.  This group has absolutely no compassion, and the fact that it hides behind the second amendment whenever any type of gun ownership debate occurs disgusts me.  You cannot convince me that when Jefferson et al wrote the amendment that they would advocate the measure of slaughter that occurs in this country from firearms.  No way.  The weapon of choice back then was a musket.  The amendment was included in the Bill of Rights to protect us from militias attempting to overtake the government. 

Anyone has the right to hunt as long as they do so safely, and if a responsible person wants a gun in their house for safety, then so be it.  But there are huge problems with firearms in this country that exist in no other civilized countries, and the only difference between these places is that the US lets anyone own a gun.  I don't have a solution to the problem, but then I am not in a position where anyone would listen to me anyway.  No one seems to care about finding a solution, which would seem to be the problem.

3000 residents of this country died on 9/11.  Ten times that number have died since then from firearms, yet we do nothing to address it.  I think it is because a majority of the victims of firearms fall into societal groups that do not hold a lot of political power.  The GOP doesn't care about them because they don't get many votes from these groups, and the Democrats are too scared to confront them on it.

I am a lot more concerned that I or someone I love will be affected by gun violence than I am about my safety boarding an airplane or going up in a skyscraper.

But I'm sure that Dick and George don't care about what I think.

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