So I’m watching Obama talking about his proposals to prevent further mass gun violence like we’ve seen in…well, way too many places lately. He had several proposals. I’m going to run down some of them and talk about my overall impressions of what he’s said.
First off, he said that he wanted the CDC to study the effects of video game violence and see if that contributes to, or causes, these kinds of events. Well, I can save him money there. There have been several studies on this, and we know that they don’t cause mass shootings. They might contribute to them, but they don’t cause them. If they do contribute to violence, then we have to ask why other countries that have the same access to the same video games that we do don’t have these problems. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that, while they play the same video games, they don’t have access to the same weapons. To me this means guns, and the easy access to them, are the problem.
Next, he wants a universal background check for anyone buying any kind of a gun from any source. I think that’s pretty damn reasonable. I’d also favor a longer waiting period for buying, but I didn’t hear anything about that. I honestly don’t see why there’s any kind of a valid argument against this. If you don’t want certain kinds of people to get their hands on guns, then we have to screen them out no matter where they want to purchase those guns.
The next proposal was to renew a ban on assault weapons. Good, good, good. Civilians have no business getting their hands on military-grade weapons. You don’t need an AR-15 for hunting, home defense or any purpose other than killing lots of people in large numbers very quickly.
Up next was a plan to increase punishments on those who get guns and pass them on to people who shouldn’t have them. Again, a no-brainer, as was the next statement about Congress confirming Obama’s nominee to head up the ATF.
Then there was a proposal to add cops to the streets. Ok, fine, that’s a good idea and I have no problem with it, but let’s make it clear here: that wouldn’t have prevented a single one of these mass-shootings. The only way to prevent these is to prevent people from having access to guns.
That last part, keeping people from guns, isn’t going to happen. Obama also made lots of noise about supporting the Second Amendment and the individual right to own guns. As long as we cling to this interpretation of the Second Amendment, we’re never going to make any real progress on stopping mass-shootings or stopping the 30,000 or so other gun deaths we have every year.
Still, this is at least something, and something is better than nothing.