Rationality on Guns via Mayors

Very much line with the proposals Mark Kleinman describes (which I discussed here) a way too rational piece in the WSJ today from Michael Bloomberg and Thomas Menino (mayors of NYC and Boston respectively).

One of the potential upshots of the DC Heller case would be to finally focus on the real issue: cracking down on criminals with guns, illegal gun purchases. Instead of right-wing NRA mania about bans on assault weapons and hatred of any regulation the industry and left-wing “guns are icky” and a sign of cultural backwardness, ban them all position. Enough of the right and left culture wars in other words and finally build policy on safety of citizens. Evidence compiled to date suggests increased gun ownership among law abiding (non-mentally disturbed) citizens does not increase (pace the left) nor decrease (pace the right) amounts of violence & crime.

The issue is guns in the hands of criminals. The left has always said that guns kill people (focusing as they always do on exteriors only) while the right says that (bad) people kill people (focusing as they do only on the interiors). Of course both were half right/half wrong. Guns in the hands of bad people kill people. At a much higher clip (no pun intended) than say with fists or knives or clubs.

It is none too surprising that is it mayors, not gun rights/gun ban advocates, courts, or federal politicians, who put forward these ideas, given they don’t have the luxury to be so ideologically hidebound.  As the mayors points out their recommendations receive 80%+ approval including same numbers of approval among gun owners.  Shocking that the populace is actually intelligent on this issue and its the radicals in both parties, the interest groups with too much time, money, and ideology that prevent meaningful intelligent reforms.

The recommendations the mayors make are obvious (again too rational for US political discourse) ones:

1)Close the gun show loophole. Period. Everybody who buys a gun has to have a background check. Sorry NRA.

And this one, showing how insane current law on the subject is:

End gun-dealer fire sales. If the federal government shuts down gun dealers for selling illegally, it nevertheless allows those dealers to sell off their inventory without conducting the background checks that it normally requires them to do. Imagine if a liquor store was shut down for selling to minors. Would anyone support a policy that would allow the owner to sell off all the remaining liquor without checking IDs? Of course not.

WTF? I didn’t know about the gun dealer sales. That is f’ed up.

Other ones the mayors could have mentioned: the need for permit/licensing (like a driver’s license), you pass a test, get a gun. And shell casing laws–each gun sold is fired prior to sale, a casing with serial number of said weapon is kept in a database. Hence all guns can be traced in the criminal justice system if need be.

Published in: on June 30, 2008 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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