Cape Gazette
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Barking up wrong tree on gun control

By Kirk Lubbes | Jan 18, 2013

The knee-jerk solution to the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. is increased gun control. Few politicians have considered what might be the real cause of mass killings and how to create policy to address the real issues. The current activity by federal and Delaware politicians illustrate this point

Could the fact that we are surrounded by movies that treat violence as everyday normal behavior have an affect societal behavior? Have you ever seen a movie where the parents, siblings, and friends of the good or bad guys suffer for their love one's deaths?

What about the violent video games that our children play where blood and guts are realistically splattered across high definition computer screens and where the objective is to kill as many people possible? Could this possibly be desensitizing?  Are our politicians exploring policy options that might address these issues?

It is interesting to note that Dianne Feinstein, the senator from California and the chief proponent of gun control legislation, sees no responsibility for Hollywood’s promotion of gun violence. Our president, who has strong connections to Hollywood, also has not seen any link to Hollywood’s investment in violence.

The second area of where politicians should be concentrating their policy efforts is that of mental illness and firearms access. Today, federal and state laws give people with mental illness the right to decide when, where, and how and if they receive care. These laws should not give people give these same people the right to purchase or have access to firearms.

Currently, anyone purchasing a firearm has to have approval from the National Instant Criminal Background (NICS) check.  Policy should be developed to deny approval of firearms purchase by the mentally ill just as denial is made to criminals.

Increased gun control is an easy out for politicians.  Rather than address the root cause of mass killing, increasing gun control makes them appear to being doing something useful to solve the problem. While in fact, they are doing nothing but further limiting the freedoms of law abiding, responsible citizens.

Kirk Lubbes
Milton

Comments (1)
Posted by: Thomas Adams | Jan 19, 2013 14:54

Dianne Feinsteins’ views on gun violence likely were shaped at least in part when she served as President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  On November 27, 1978, Dan White shot and killed his political rivals, Mayor George Mascone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, in City Hall.  Feinstein heard the gunshot, went to investigate, and discovered Milk’s body.   Feinstein was named mayor and helped guide a traumatized city government and population to healing.

 

It is not the case that anyone wanting to purchase a firearm must first obtain approval through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, as Mr. Lubbes asserts.  The background check applies to sales from federally licensed dealers only.  Unless barred by state law, private sales can go forward without a background check.  Some estimates put private sales at upwards of 40% of all sales.

 

Neither is it the case that the White House’s response to gun violence ignores root causes.  Executive Action 14 calls for “research on the causes and prevention of gun violence, including links between video games, media images, and violence.”



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