Just prior to President Obama announcing today the formation of a gun control task force to be led by Vice President Joe Biden, two pro gun rights organizations called on the president to create a commission to examine the real causes of gun-related violence and propose preventative solutions.
Leaders from the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said that in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which left 28 people dead, including 20 small children, a level-headed and unbiased commission would be uniquely prepared to address the complexity of the dilemma.
“If we don’t identify and get at the root causes of violence,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb in a Tuesday press release, “it won’t matter how many guns you ban, you will still have violence. There were no guns around when Cain slew Abel, and throughout recorded history, mankind has engaged in considerable violence. Only in the past two centuries have firearms played a historic significance.”
“Connecticut already has laws regulating firearms and even modern semi-automatic rifles,” noted SAF President Joseph Tartaro. “They did not prevent what happened in Newtown, any more than Norway’s laws, or Germany’s or Russia’s prevented some of the recent mass murders in those countries.
“If the public policy debate which is sure to follow,” Tartaro continued, “focuses solely on gun law solutions and ignores all the other key questions, we will have done a disservice to the memories of all the victims of such madness in Connecticut, in Colorado, in Oregon, or anywhere else.”
Both gun community leaders said that violence is a problem in America, and “we need to solve it.”
“Gun owners are like anyone else,” Gottlieb observed. “We have families, we have children and grandchildren. We want to keep them safe. We walk the same streets as any other citizen, and many gun owners have decided to protect themselves and their families. Our rights as gun owners should not be sacrificed in the interest of providing the illusion that ‘something’ is being done.
“Any meaningful discussion on violence,” Gottlieb added, “would need to include mental health, violent video games, television shows and films, media malpractice that sensationalizes violence and the dangerously false sense of security created by so-called ‘gun-free zones’.”
“If we have a debate,” Tartaro concluded, “let’s make it a broad and meaningful one.”
In theory, the national commission will take a comprehensive approach to the problem of violence as White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a Tuesday press briefing.
“It’s a complex problem that requires more than one solution,” said Carney. “It calls not only for re-examining our gun laws — and how well we enforce them — but also for engaging mental health professionals, law enforcement officials, educators, parents and communities to find those solutions.”
However, with Joe Biden at the helm, who has a history of proposing tough gun laws (Biden helped author the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban), it’s pretty clear that the task force will primarily focus on gun control.
After all, proposing tougher gun laws to make people feel better is the most politically viable solution, despite how grossly ineffective gun control is at reducing crime and violence.
Instead of focusing on tangible ways to treat the mentally deranged and ways to reduce (perhaps through the legalization of illicit drugs) drug-related crime, the commission will most likely double down on the failed polices of the past, i.e. the Assault Weapons Ban.
In the end, following the passage of tougher gun laws, which seems inevitable at this point, people might feel safer, but society won’t be any better off. In fact, there’s good reason to think that the opposite will be true (see video below).