We have our own gun rights folks at Daily Kos who have properly warned that simply re-instituting an older assault weapons ban won't do the job. It appears that message has been heard, both here in CT and nationwide. This Washington Post report is very encouraging:
The White House is weighing a far broader and more comprehensive approach to curbing the nation’s gun violence than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, according to multiple people involved in the administration’s discussions.My own position on this was posted a day after the shootings here on Daily Kos and on Politico a few days later.
A working group led by Vice President Biden is seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the sources said.
We've been discussing it since, and I very much appreciate all the input from both sides of the questions of gun violence, gun safety and gun rights. I encourage that discussion: forget about past battles and be civil going forward. We need all the voices heard.
My friend Hugh Bailey, writing at the Connecticut Post, sums up part of the argument:
In reality, the line on legal weaponry is arbitrary. We could move it further out and allow people to buy backyard missile launchers. We could recognize the times in which the Second Amendment was written and restrict possession to nothing more advanced than what was available in the late 18th century. But it's wrong to say anything permissible today is sacrosanct.The discussion is more comprehensive than 'we are coming for your guns' because no one is. But something will be coming down the pike, and soon.
Not that people won't argue the point. "Once you start drawing the line, where do you stop? That's why it is important to not just look at this emotionally." Those were the words of noted gun enthusiast Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. He's not too bright, by all accounts, but he deserves credit for putting voice to this argument.
Because we do draw the line, right now. Or can you buy, say, an assault helicopter down in Louie's home district? I've never been there. Maybe Walmart has a wider selection in Texas.
We decide where the line is. And it's in the wrong place.
Be prepared to push, because nothing happens by itself. But I believe something changed after Newtown in a way that folks haven't finished absorbing.
The NRA is going to lose on this. By how much is up to us.