New Orleans We were in Boston and the videographer kept looking at his phone while filming and even leaving the room. At the early afternoon break I told him we were going off the record for a couple of hours. “Good,” he said, “I need to leave for Connecticut, have you heard what has happened there.” The full details of that morning have been flooding all of us ever since.
In the wake of the Connecticut tragedy there has been a hue and cry for more gun control and tougher gun control restrictions at both the state and federal level. National Rifle Association (NRA) apologists and Congressional advocates have even called for better “screens” for people who might be mentally unbalanced.
Connecticut is not Wyoming though. I had to believe that they had some kind of decent gun laws. Searching around it turns out that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ranks the state #5 in the country. Unfortunately being in the top 10% of the United States still only scored 58% of 100%, which is a failing grade in this and most schools around the country. Ryan Beckwith of Digital First Media, ran this quote:
“We have some of the strongest gun laws in the United States, but if you don’t have strong federal gun laws, that makes it that much more difficult,” said Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.
As for the points about being mentally imbalanced, I’m not sure how that would have been a preventive. Reports in all of the morning newspapers indicate that the guns were owned and registered by the killer’s mother, who was the first victim in this horror. No one can hide behind that thin reed to a rationalization or pretend that some law aimed at the whacky among us would be preventive in any way, shape, or form.
New York City’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg has been calling loudly for action in Congress since the tragedy. Beckwith also quoted his man on gun control:
Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun control group started by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, noted that the vast majority of guns found in New York City crime scenes come from other states. “We have some of the strongest gun laws in the country, but guns don’t respect boundaries any more than criminals do,” he said. “When one state has weak gun laws, that opens the floodgate of guns into the stream of commerce and they end up in communities in other states. That’s a federal problem and it needs a federal solution,” he added.
Like it or not, President Obama is going to have to step in and make something happen. The “buck stops here” with him in the White House, and there are spent casings on the ground all around all of us that have no place anywhere near here.