This week President Obama took careful aim at the nation's gun owners with a not unexpected $500 million, emotionally charged and misdirected plan he claims would reduce gun violence in America.
Not exactly, Mr. President.
To fall back on an old but still true claim from the other side of the gun control debate, it's not the guns that cause the problem. And it doesn't matter what you call a firearm - any gun can be an "assault" rifle in the wrong hands - any more than the number of cartridges a weapon holds really makes any difference.
There is no question that the rampage an obviously very sick young man went on in Connecticut a few weeks ago was a horrible event. But to use those deaths, and photo-ops of children as Obama did Wednesday, to drum up support is just inexcusable. But then again, that's the way this president has operated since the beginning of his tenure: If you can't produce facts, just create a drama.
The gun control question pops up whenever another whacko opens fire on a bunch of innocents. Over and over, guns are blamed because they make an easy whipping boy. Generally, liberals cry out for more gun control laws, while conservatives rail against them. What follows is months of saber rattling and attempts to tighten laws that govern gun ownership. In the end, at least up until now, not much happens to change those laws.
Thanks to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, gun ownership continues to withstand the assaults and remains, for the most part, a precious freedom for American citizens. The Constitution endures because most Americans believe it should. Is it perfect? Of course not, but we haven't seen a better alternative.
Why, then, are there so many attempts to blame guns for all the violence in America? It's much easier to do that then address the real causes. What makes these people want to arm themselves and start blazing away? Who is examining our mental health care system? Why don't we look at the deterioration of the American family, or the lack of a moral center in the lives of too many children? How about the violence portrayed in movies or video games? And touching on another Constitutional issue, maybe we need to consider bringing religion back to the schoolhouse. Wouldn't that be a hot one?
The point we are trying to make here is that reining in violence in America will prove to be a difficult, complex task involving many aspects of our culture. Until everyone understands that and is truly willing to find a solution, all we will ever see is more disagreement over firearms and debates over how many shells are allowed in the magazine. In other words, a lot of smoke, but no fire.