That’s the gist of Rep. Cedric Richmond’s gun-grabbing essay at Politic 365 over the weekend…
By driving on our roads, subject to their rules, we forgo the right to recklessly operate our cars and possibly injure others. By boarding a plane, we give up the right to smoke cigarettes and stand up during take-offs. Furthermore, before we can even approach the gate, we give the Transportation Security Administration the right to search our person and possessions. We suffer these discomforts for the greater good. Efforts in Congress to address the horrific level of gun violence in this country reflect common-sense principles such as these. We can live in a free society and still possess guns for protection and sport without having access to every conceivable high-capacity magazine. We are still a free people if we agree to reasonable background checks before acquiring a weapon. We are still free to pursue our dreams if we agree to reasonable rules that will keep guns out of the hands of criminal organizations.
The naysayers argue that we should not try to regulate guns because the effort will be fruitless to prevent violence. I agree. Nothing we do will eradicate violence in this country or prevent an unbalanced individual from engaging in hateful and tragic behavior. But if we try something, we can make a difference. If we try nothing and shrug our shoulders, I am positive that more innocent daughters, sons, sisters and brothers will die. I know I can’t look into the eyes of a family that lost a child to a stray bullet and tell them that nothing can be done.
According to FBI data, 1,464 people were killed by firearms in New Orleans between 2008-2011. That’s 1,464 families who will never see their loved ones again. If we were to have passed the entirety of President Obama’s proposed reforms, sadly, many of those victims would probably have still been killed because violence is a pervasive and complex problem with a diverse set of causes. Economic insecurity, poor mental health treatment options, inferior education options and the scarcity of positive opportunities are all contributors, which one regulation alone cannot eliminate. That being said, if we only acted on just a few of the president’s proposals, we could decrease the supply of guns used in the homicides by reducing the supply of illegally purchased guns via universal background checks. This would decrease the use of guns in violent crime and keep a few more families from having to bury a loved one.
Richmond doesn’t say anywhere in his piece that gun violence is down across the country, which is the truth even though the Left has convinced the American people the exact opposite is the case. And that gun violence decrease has coincided with an explosion in gun ownership.
Meaning that an armed citizenry has just as much of a causative connection to the decrease in gun violence as Richmond’s economic insecurity can claim for the violence in New Orleans.
Did you notice what didn’t make it into the Congressman’s list of causes for all those shootings in New Orleans? Not enough jobs, not enough shrinks, not enough schools and not enough midnight basketball – but never once does he mention not enough fathers. Never once does he note the lack of moral instruction in New Orleans’ poor neighborhoods, the breakdown of the family there and the government-dependent subsistence livelihood which dominates the communities the violence emanates from. He also doesn’t note that there’s a culture which glorifies violence and criminality in New Orleans – only such a culture could produce a mass shooting at a Mother’s Day second-line.
That’s an accident, right? Bring that to Richmond’s attention and surely he’d say “Oh, yeah, that too” – right?
Or maybe Richmond is just another gun-grabber, just another Democrat who gives lip service to the importance of individual rights while at the same time demanding law-abiding folks give theirs up.
His analogy of the TSA is a good one, but not for the reasons he thinks. After all, submitting to the indignities the government demands at the airport does very, very little to increase your security when you get on a plane – and in fact it’s a matter of time before a suicide bomber unleashes carnage in a security line which could easily kill as many or more people as a bomb or gun on an airplane could unleash. Moreover, everyone knows TSA is wasting time feeling up octogenarian ladies and four-year olds when there is a specific profile of people who represent a threat – but for reasons of politics the government thinks that a one-size-fits-all approach to security, and that means everybody has to put up with their privacy being invaded for no good reason.
Similarly, Richmond thinks it’s proper for law-abiding gun owners to be inconvenienced or have their rights infringed upon because in his district there are criminals who use guns to commit violence.
A news flash for Richmond – it’s bad people who cause the problem. And he refuses to identify what tends most to produce bad people.
This guy probably ought to have Richmond’s job, since he has a lot better handle on violence and how to put a stop to it than Richmond does…