When it comes to government, I have a simple philosophy: don’t just do something. Stand there. Once upon a time, government wasn’t responsible for (i.e. “in charge” of) of much of anything. Common defense. After that, meh. Charity began at home, went to church and . . . that’s about it. True story: there were even private roads and bridges. Tax payers could look at one another and ask, hey, did you build that? I didn’t build that! You didn’t build that! When it comes to gun control, there’s not a whole lot that needs doing—other than arming and training more civilians. Violent crime is down and falling. But that’s not how Big Government types see it. They want to “fix” things. To wit: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett [above] writing for jsonline.com . . .
In 2009, four Milwaukee police officers were shot, including Officers Brian Norberg and Graham Kunisch, who were shot by an 18-year-old on the near south side. In 2007, Milwaukee Officers Jose Lopez and Alex Arce were shot by a teenage gang member. All four of these officers have sued the gun dealer responsible for the sale of the weapons used in the shootings. Just days ago, Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy was shot multiple times by the gunman at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. We watch in horror as the news repeatedly provides the details of how our brave public servants are victimized by gunfire. We applaud their selfless heroics, establish funds for their families and ask, “How can we prevent this from happening again?”
Some of us ask why are some Americans more equal than others? Perhaps it’s because waving the bloody uniform appeals more to voters’ emotions than talking about the majority of U.S. firearms deaths, which are suicides and drug-related gangbanger hits.
When police officers are shot, we should not abdicate our responsibility to do everything humanly possible to protect them just because elected officials in Washington and Madison turn a deaf ear to the most basic concerns raised by major city police chiefs from around the country. So, when is the best time to make sensible, pragmatic changes to our gun laws? How about now? And I’ll get us started. Ensuring background checks on all gun sales would close one of the major loopholes in our current gun laws and make it harder for criminals and those with mental illness to gain access to guns. We should make it a felony to purchase guns for those who can’t legally buy guns themselves. We need stricter penalties for those who refuse to abide by the provisions of the concealed-carry law. We should deny a firearm permit for habitual offenders who have three misdemeanors in a five-year period. We should strengthen criminal penalties for crimes committed with guns. We should reinstate the national ban on assault weapons and have a serious review of Internet sales of large amounts of ammunition. Obviously, our families, our neighbors and our law enforcement officers deserve and expect more than talk. Sooner, rather than later – not after the next mass shooting, not after the next fallen officer, not after the next neighborhood gunbattle – we must act.
True! As I said above, we must get more Americans to carry a weapon as soon as possible. All that other stuff Tommy recommends? Fuhgeddboutit. Not only is most of his gun crime agenda currently in place (e.g., it’s already a felony to buy a firearm for a felon) much of it is counterproductive. “Stricter penalties for those who refuse to abide by the provisions of the concealed-carry law”? Which provisions would those be, exactly? What purpose does it serve to discourage Americans from exercising their Constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms?
While we’re at it, how would banning modern rifles and limiting ammunition sales prevent crime? How could background checks weed out psychopaths, who are both clever and – prior to their heinous crimes – law-abiding? Needless to say, Hizzoner hasn’t a clue.
Tom is no more interested in rational debate than Behati Prisloo is interested in a steel-boned corset. Which is fine with me. Why are we even talking about this? Tool up, keep calm and Chive On. I mean, carry on. This country was founded on self-reliance. The sooner we return to that value the safer all of us will be. Both in terms of gun crime and personal liberty. I make that a win-win.