The “national conversation” as the President and his allies like to call it, that we are having on “gun violence” and “sensible gun control legislation” is mostly illogical and nonsensical. Need evidence?
1. The recent congressional hearings on gun violence featured former congresswoman Gabby Giffords. She was shot last year at a public event by a crazy gunman. As a result she suffers greatly and will for the rest of her life. Ms. Giffords has shown great courage and resolve to rehabilitate herself though and be able to testify before Congress. Yet, what does she bother to say? Amongst other things – and the most replayed meme and soundbite – that “Too many children are dying; too many children. We must do something.” This is pure emotion and not even objectively accurate.
1. Violent crime – including violent crime using guns – has dropped massively over the past 20 years
2. Mass shootings have not increased in recent years.
3. Schools are getting safer.
2. While the focus is on the sensational Newtown school murders of 20 school children last month, this focus is, again, done in order to prey upon emotion rather than reason. How about Chicago, the adopted hometown of the President and currently under the administration of the President’s former chief of staff (Mayor Rahm Emanuel)? Chicago is starting off 2013 on pace to outpace the horrendous murder rate it infamously enjoyed in 2012: 506! In addition, and tragically, a young woman, who recently participated in the President’s inaugural ceremonies, was murdered in Chicago last week. Yes murder made the news but correspondingly, how often do we hear anything about the fact that Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the U.S.? Just what exactly have restrictive gun laws done to stop what Ms. Giffords is pleading for in her testimony (i.e., “too many children are dying”)? Answer: apparently nothing. Who is holding Mr. Emanuel and the President accountable for enforcing the thousands of gun laws already on the books?
3. In Hartford, CT on January 28, 2013 there was a public hearing on gun violence and one of the most eloquent statements made by citizens was by Henson Ong. Watch it here yourself.
Do we hear this side of the story? Do we hear the arguments and views of Mr. Ong equally aired by the media and given full hearing and analysis so that the “national conversation” can be just that, a conversation that gives and takes and considers all sides …. rather than legislators and the President telling us with an emotion-filled voice that we just need to “do something”.