Archive for December, 2012
The United States has too many guns. Guns are too easy to get. There are guns for sale to the public that have no other purpose other than homicide.
While we cannot say definitively that making deadly weapons a bit more difficult to acquire (at least more difficult than a car!) would put a stop to tragedies like the one in Connecticut, they can at least make them a bit more difficult to plan and less lethal when they do occur.
If the killer had to work a little harder to buy the guns or steal them maybe there would have been time for someone to notice something. If a mental health professional could officially determine that he is potentially dangerous, he would at least have to get the guns illegally which would involve greater expense and more risk. If the guns held less ammunition there likely would have been less killing.
None of these measures remove the need to make mental health treatment more available. Nor do they deter legitimate gun owners from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.
The point is we can take significant steps to minimize this kind of violence. What is required is the political will and a public willing to stand up for politicians who do the right thing, and against the gun lobby.
Why were republicans so intent on keeping Susan Rice from becoming Secretary of State? She never showed any sign of going off-script. She always supported standard American Establishment foreign policy. Never went off the rails toward anything radical, never scared Israel like Andy Young did in the 70s. When she went on television to explain what happened in Benghazi she was little more than a messenger. Diplomatic security is not her responsibility.
Was it to derail the Obama agenda in some way? I hope that our politics hasn’t become so divisive that the opposition would make weakening the president’s hand such a priority.
Dare we wonder if it was because she’s a Black woman? John Kerry, the new front runner for the nomination—also a good choice, would be the first White guy in that job in 16 years since Warren Christopher. Are there folks on the right—the same characters who question President Obama’s legitimacy who would like to restore what they perceive as the natural order?
The other question is why Obama and his allies in Congress did not fight for her. The President himself strongly defended Amb. Rice, but we did not hear much from fellow Democrats in Congress or from the executive branch. After today’s announcements from the independent inquiry on the Benghazi attack, one wonders if someone feels a need to divert blame away from Hilary Clinton.
These questions remain unanswered and will continue to be the subject of much speculation. What does seem clear is that if you want to stop a political appointment by this administration all it takes is a little resistance.