The latest thug, a nutjob in Alabama who has shot at a schoolbus driver, kidnapped a 6-year-old child, and who now has that child in his post-Vietnam bunker below ground, was known to have a history of violence. So, yes: background checks should be thorough and decisive.
But the NRA's thuggery continues. I don't think their bunker will turn out to be as secure this time around as that of their violent customer in Alabama. Trying to take control of Congressional hallways seems a bit much, doesn't it?
Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association’s chief executive, arrived for his hearing on Capitol Hill in the organization’s trademark fashion: violently.
When he and his colleagues stepped off the elevator in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Wednesday morning and found TV cameras waiting in the hallway, LaPierre’s bodyguards swung into action. One of them, in blatant violation of congressional rules, bumped and body-checked journalists out of the way so they couldn’t film LaPierre or question him as he walked.
“You don’t have jurisdiction here!” a cameraman protested as an NRA goon pushed him against a wall. After the melee, congressional officials informed the NRA officials that, in the halls of Congress, they had to follow congressional procedures — which prohibit manhandling.
This must have come as a surprise to the gun lobbyists, whose swagger seems to suggest that they are, in fact, in control of Congress. In their world, nothing trumps the Second Amendment — not even the First Amendment. ...Dana Milbank, WaPo
I don't like the prospect that we may not succeed politically with this issue. There's a lot of money, ignorance, and brutality protecting the gun industry. But there is an economic deterrent, a subject that came up once again on NPR this morning. A couple of economists have suggestions. Here's one from Robert Frank at Cornell:
Gun ownership, even in the hands of responsible people, increases the risk of death and serious injury to others. In cases involving multiple deaths, few gun owners could afford to compensate victims' families for their losses, just as most automobile owners couldn't afford to compensate the families of accident victims. With automobiles, we require all vehicle owners to carry liability insurance. A similar approach would help with firearms.
Nothing in the constitution grants people the right to expose others to serious risk without compensation. Insurance sellers are skillful at estimating the risks posed by drivers with specific characteristics, and we could expect them to be similarly skillful at assessing the risks posed by gun owners. Requiring liability insurance isn't a total solution to the problem of excessive risk, either for autos or for guns. But in both cases, it's a positive step. ...NPR