Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A gun query

In the wake of last week’s shooting out in California, the father of one of the people murdered aimed some understandable vitriol at politicians who refuse to buck the NRA.

Samuel Wurzelbacher had some words of his own for the parents of people killed in shootings, whether young children as at Sandyhook or young adults as last week: “Your dead kids don’t trump my consititutional rights. … Mr. Martinez and anyone calling for more restrictions on American’s rights need to back off and stop playing into the hands of the folks who merely capitalize on these horrific events for their own political ends.” (I won't post the link; you can find it yourself if you search on that first sentence I quoted.)

Which raises a couple of questions, but it's hard to say exactly who those questions are meant for.

They’re not for gun owners in general, because there are people who own guns who also support some form of more effective rules than we currently have. Presumably their answer to the first question is “No,” and their answer to the second question is whatever form of gun rules they already support.

These questions also aren’t for people who could be considered “2nd-Amendment abolutists” (or who even consider themselves that way), since if you’re really an absolutist, your answer to the first question is “Yes,” and then the second question is moot.

So there’s a middle group, people who in some sense aren’t absolutists, but who in practice seem to be against pretty much any form of gun restriction that comes up.

The first question is, Do you agree with Mr. Wurzelbacher (aka Joe the Plumber)?

Second, If you don't agree with him, what actions would you support that would separate you from Mr. Wurzelbacher, not merely in word but in deed?

There’s actually a third question, and this one is for anyone who would like to see a change in how our laws treat guns:
What have you done, or what will you do, to try to bring about the change you support?
Perhaps you have a U.S. senator or two and/or a Representative who voted to oppose the will of about 90% of the public on a measure as simple as background checks. If that’s the case, one thing you could do is take those first two questions, put 'em in your own words if you want, and send them along to the folks who purport to represent you in Washington.

And keep asking until you get an answer.

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