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Friday, January 4, 2013

Public wants more gun control and looks like they will finally get it

Although it may be small, a new CNN/ORC poll found that “a bare majority now favor major restrictions on owning guns or an outright ban on gun ownership by ordinary citizens and more than six in ten favor a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles.”  This number has lingered around 50% in the past, which is also significant, but the figure is now 52% that want major restrictions on the ownership of firearms, even making all guns illegal.

Gun control advocates can thank wacky Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Assn. (NRA), and his gang of gun worshippers for this in a trend that looks like it will not only continue but escalate in the future.  An inept Congress which is paid by the NRA to vote the NRA way will not be able to continue to ignore a public outcry that demands action.  It looks like the Newtown, CT mass killings of 20 little children tipped the scales; and a shame it took so long.

The CNN survey’s breakdown is obviously skewed by the partisan divide.  80% of Democrats favor major restrictions, 42% for Independents and 31% for Republicans.  Females are at 62% compared to males at 41%.  On the other hand, 11 states back the NRA plan to arm teachers or others in schools to protect the children.  They are Arizona, Florida, So. Carolina, Virginia, Oklahoma, Nevada, So. Dakota, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee and Missouri.

The NY Daily News also reported, “Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter ridiculed the NRA's proposal, saying it was a ‘completely dumba-- idea.’”  And “New York officials also slammed the NRA stance, and a Staten Island school board is expected to vote against adding armed security measures next month.”  In the eight years I have been writing on gun violence, I have never seen gun control momentum like now, and with the NRA so on the defense.

The displeasure with firearm ownership has even entered the toy market where some mothers are taking toy guns away from their children.  A Chicago mom relieved her 7 and 10-year-old daughters of their Nerf revolver-style blasters right after the Newtown massacre.  Another mother collected a dozen toy guns from her 4 and 7-year-old sons.  And in Decatur, GA Shun Melson told her 7-year-old about the killings and he voluntarily threw his toy gun in the trash.

All of these impulses at the grass-roots level must now be nurtured and developed to rid the public of the absurd NRA belief, fostered by the head gun nut Wayne LaPierre, that it is OK for every person in the USA, regardless of whether or not they are qualified, to own a gun and take it anywhere they want.  But LaPierre and his bunch of hooligans won’t give up and it is up to the gun control advocates to keep the pressure on, increasing it regularly. 

And as one gun control advocate that is dedicated to this cause until we reach our goal, here are the new laws that I would like to see enacted:

  1. Ban all assault or assault-type weapons
  2. Ban all high-capacity magazines over 5 rounds
  3. Close gun show loophole
  4. Background checks for all gun purchases
  5. Mandatory training for anyone owning a gun
  6. Mandatory state reporting of the mentally ill

These are my six major targets.  Equally important, maybe in the future, but soon:

  1. National Registry of all guns owned
  2. Restrict concealed weapons permits to only those who need them

If it’s crazy to ask for gun laws that will protect the population, particularly our children, from firearm violence, then call me crazy.

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