Friday, February 15, 2008

Help Wanted: Courage

It will take real courage by a relative handful of people to address a real problem in America that has grown beyond the pale in terms of insane behavior. I refer to the absolutely senseless murdering of innocent high school and college students as exemplified most recently by yesterday's tragedy at Northern Illinois University where five young kids were slaughtered by a madman. The real courage that is necessary is to recognize that the Slavic devotion to the Second Amendment, fostered by the NRA's financial muscle, has led to a gun culture in America that stupefies the senses. Thirty thousand, 30,000, people die each year in the United States from gun shots. A society that can organize itself to make slight impositions on its citizens such as requiring use of seat belts or the wearing motorcycle crash helmets needs leaders to take the argument forcefully to the public that the gun carnage has to stop. Presidential candidates and member of Congress should demonstrate resolve and courage and stand up to this powerful financial force. Gun control advocacy has replaced social security as the third rail of politics. Even when Reagan was shot, the NRA relentlessly campaigned against the Brady Bill, the provisions of which the President who would be King allowed to lapse during his regime. In hindsight, the bill should have been called the Reagan Bill. This week, California passed a law requiring all semi-automatic weapons made in 2010 and thereafter to be manufactured in such a way that law enforcement agencies would be able to identify the source of a bullet that killed someone. The NRA staunchly opposed this law. The law will not require weapons made before 2010 to be retrofitted. The Democrats are as bad as the Republicans on this issue. Someone has to stand up and take on this insane progrom. The fear of the loss of a political career is a lot less painful than the real pain experienced by the families and loved ones left behind from a shooting death. We need leaders with real guts.

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