Common Sense: Rights and wrongs
In my opinion, Jim Kenney, the newly elected mayor of Philadelphia, is a moron. As part of his first public statement following the attempted assassination of a Philadelphia police officer by an individual who used a gun stolen from another police officer, this genius called for more gun restrictions. What is his point? The gun was stolen from a police officer. Is he saying that police officers should not be allowed to possess guns, so that they cannot be stolen?
Maybe Kenney should spend a bit more of his media face time addressing the fact that the assailant linked himself with ISIS instead of grandstanding on a second amendment issue. He is actually working overtime to deny the link even though the assailant said so. It really makes no sense to me.
It does seem like just about every Democratic politician wants to one-up the other on gun control, at least in New York State. Interestingly, around the nation, when referendums appear on the ballot to loosen local gun restrictions, they seem always to win. I am sure it could not have gone unnoticed that Texas — a state with essentially no gun ownership restrictions and a population considerably larger then New York’s — went a step further this past year by approving the unconcealed carrying of a handgun.
The president must intuitively recognize the problem. His speech the other day laid out a plan that really did little in the final analysis to restrict gun ownership further. He said as much upon questioning, and a review of what he is actually calling for would lead to that same conclusion.
So why the pandering? Is he simply trying to earn the title of panderer in chief? In my opinion, it is the proverbial red meat for the Democratic Party base. He has the bully pulpit, but not really the authority to go against Congress and certainly the U.S. Constitution through the issuing of executive orders.
And despite a poll that said that 67 percent of Americans supported the call for more gun ownership restrictions, the fact is that a solid majority of Congress (all of whom are elected by the people), an overwhelming majority of state legislatures, also elected by the people, and apparently, in many cases, the voting population as illustrated in these referendums, oppose further restrictions. The second amendment seems to remain on solid ground.
It is also worth noting that all the Republican presidential candidates are strong supporters of the right to bear arms. Some would say that this is the only position they can hold as they compete in the Republican primaries, but it should be noted that almost all of them have strong histories on gun rights issues. And all of them, with their position well known by the public, seem to be either beating or within a few points of Mrs. Clinton, at least based on current polling.
For those who are seriously concerned about public safety, I believe there is a need to strike the illusion that further gun ownership restrictions are the key to making our streets safer. It distracts our focus from the real problem — that criminals, no matter how great the restrictions on the general public, obtain illegal weapons through illegal means.
And sadly it is public officials like Mayor Kenney, Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo who are missing the point that the public, despite its reaction to high profile events, on the whole is drifting the other way on this issue as our streets and world become more dangerous.
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