To the Editor:
Recently, a friend sent a Facebook link from the Washington Examiner entitled: “Obama Should Blame Tea Party, Not NRA, For Gun Control Defeat.” He asked for my opinion. I thought about it for a while before I responded because I wanted to be precise. I was grateful for both the article, and for the solicitation of my feelings. My own thoughts became more clarified as I wrote the following (slightly edited) response:
First, I think the NRA leadership is despicable and lacks anything resembling a soul. I believe it no longer functions primarily for its members, but for the gun manufacturers – and has for a very long time. Also, while I think the entire legislature is full of cow chips, I think the Tea Party is extreme, contains many constituents and legislators way out on the fringe, and is dangerous. Try as I may, I fail to see the stronghold they seem to wield over the majority.
Furthermore, I think the Republican Congress has made a mockery of our system. For 12 members to have held a secret meeting as Obama was taking his first oath of office in January, 2009, and, in doing so, made a pact to obstruct any and all legislation he put forth, is beneath contempt, and I believe treasonous.
So, in a sense, I don't believe it matters who was more responsible for the way the vote turned out. A third ingredient – the Democrats in the Senate are cowards who have behaved like frightened children dreading parental reprimand! Shameful!
I think responsible gun owners have no reason to be worried. There is no slippery slope. I believe that there is no need for “military-style” weapons to be available to non-military folks. I think the Second Amendment is not at issue, and to rally around it, as many have done, is disingenuous (all of a sudden the Amendments become sacred, when none of the same people cared two squats when other Amendments were being skewered?) Hmm...
I think background checks and limiting the capacity of magazines to 10 or fewer is sensible, not punitive. I agree that the mental health issue is very important, but a separate issue entirely, and that too many guns-rights advocates have used it mainly to deflect the issue away from guns (these same people have long supported the party who not only have denied funding, but also scoffed at “bleeding heart liberals” who were seeking funds to make treatment for mental health issues more readily available and affordable to desperately needy people – both young and old!
Finally – for now at least - I believe many gun owners who speak the loudest about their "God-given rights,” and who refer to the Second Amendment as inviolate, are boys-who-don't-want-to-give-up-their-toys! I know many gun owners (both friends and family) and a vast majority of them support the legislation that was voted down. So, this is as honest as I can be at this point. This issue is about common sense versus dollars and cents.
173 Boggs Hill Road, Newtown May 6, 2013