Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, has called for “rational debate’ rather than politically motivated rhetoric” regarding the issue of gun control.
“The murder of innocent children in our nation’s schools by mentally disturbed individuals cannot be tolerated. Nor should it become political campaign fodder. Yet that is exactly what is bound to happen in the next eight months leading up the 2018 Mid-Term elections,” says Weber.
In the wake of the tragic mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens escalated the politics of gun control by calling for the full repeal of the Second Amendment.
Weber describes Justice Stevens’ solution as an “absurdly extreme way to control the use of firearms. Not to mention that it would be perhaps the first time in American history that our own government would be taking away a Constitutional right.”
A scholarly critique of the rationale for gun control showed that many of the reasons cited for the need of more onerous regulation of firearms are deceptive. One of the criteria cited is the notion that “homicides are largely ‘crimes of passion’ committed by otherwise law‐abiding citizens not distinguishable from other people. Therefore, control must be directed at all gun owners rather than select criminal subgroups.”
Says Weber, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which keeps track of gun deaths, has found that nearly two-thirds of death by firearms in the U.S. were the result of suicides, accidents and legal interventions. He notes that homicides accounted for only 33 percent of deaths.
Law professor Robert Delahunty has a different take on the need for more stringent gun control. According to Delahunty, “progressives claim that more regulation of guns will deter violence and promote public safety.” But, he says, they demure when it comes to the notion of abortion control. “The progressive position seems to depend on what kind of laws they are talking about.”
Weber points out that he is in “no way” condoning indiscriminate sales of guns, particularly to individuals who are potentially a danger to themselves and to others.
“The emotional and mental stability of gun buyers should, indeed, be a factor in deciding whether to allow such sales. But, in addition we need law enforcement to be more proactive. For example, there was plenty of evidence to identify the intentions of the shooter in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School incident. The FBI and local police had been informed of who he was and what he was capable of. He was said to go around introducing himself by saying, ‘Hi, I’m Nick. I’m a school shooter.’ Yet, the authorities seemed to ignore the threat he posed.”
More recently, however, police in Lexington, KY got an anonymous tip that a local high school student was threatening to shoot himself and others at his school. The youngster had recently posted social media pictures of himself with a gun he had recently purchased. Little time was wasted in obtaining a mental health petition apprehending him.
“Instead of disregarding the right to bear arms granted by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution, instead of targeting legitimate gun buyers and sellers, let’s focus on the reason for the mayhem. We should be concentrating on the mental health aspects if the issue by finding ways of identifying those with problems and intervening and preventing further atrocities as school shootings,” according to Weber.