BOSTON (CBS) – Later today, President Obama is expected to unveil his plan for curbing gun violence in our country, and to this non-fan of guns, what we’re hearing in advance about it sounds pretty reasonable: tougher background checks, restricting military-style weapons and bulk ammo clips, more research on what causes gun violence and better computer tracking of weapons, more screening of criminals and the mentally ill, and so on.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
It all seems fine to me, although to hear the gun lobby react, you’d think it was the start of World War III.
But I can’t escape the feeling that it’s all mostly for show, a political reaction to a reactionary demand for political action, well-meaning, perhaps, but destined to be futile.
I’m all for trying to keep guns away from the criminal and the disturbed. But if we really want to make a dent in gun violence and prevent not just future Newtowns, but more common outrages like the shooting of an innocent 13-year-old boy in Roxbury the other day, we’ve got to find a way to make people start taking more responsibility for their own actions.
Start with the gun makers, the gun dealers, and the gun-owners’ rights advocates, taking more responsibility for making sure weapons aren’t misused without hiding behind the Second Amendment.
Move on to those in Hollywood and elsewhere who profit by glamorizing violence, then squeal about their First Amendment rights when they’re called on it.
If all of the above on their own showed more interest in doing the right thing, no one would be challenging their rights.
Next we could talk about the parents who don’t take responsibility for raising their children right, the bureaucracies that don’t do their duty to properly help care for the mentally ill, the lawyers who value privacy over public safety and the news media who love to cover violence without ever asking “why?”
Perhaps we’ll never do away with senseless violence altogether. But throwing a bunch of executive orders at the problem instead of beginning the long, hard job of promoting personal responsibility in all corners surely isn’t going to get us anywhere.
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