Sunday, April 22, 2007

God Bless the Congress of the United States of America!

This is a great country. I am very lucky to have been born where I was, when I was.

This fact was driven home to me very forcefully tonite by a visit to My Yahoo, where I found some exciting news, news that made me proud to be an American.

As I am sure you are aware, a young man killed 33 people at Virginia Tech several days ago. A horrible, horrible event. He was clearly deranged, a madman. And look what he did with all those guns. A massacre.

Well, Congress is not wasting any time in showing that it means business when it comes to protecting the citizens of this great nation, the citizens who, in fact, put those men and women where they are today.

No, sir, Congresspeople are contemplating swift and strong action, as explained by this article from Reuters:

U.S. Congress may act to keep guns from mentally ill By Thomas Ferraro Sun Apr 22, 4:09 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Prompted by the Virginia Tech massacre, a U.S. Congress reluctant to tackle gun control may pass limited legislation to help keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, lawmakers and aides said on Sunday.

"Given the horror that happened at Virginia Tech, I think there's a real chance of passing this," said Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), a New York Democrat, told "Fox News Sunday."

A Republican leadership aide agreed, telling Reuters, "If there is a consensus, and it is in lieu of knee-jerk draconian measures, (the chances are) probably really good." ... more


Can there be any doubt about the great wisdom of our leaders?

I certainly agree with them: people who are mentally ill should not be allowed to own weapons.

This is a great time to be an American.

I pity all the other people around the world who have to be some other kind of person, like a European or even a Chinapean.

But maybe, just maybe, if you help the National Rifle Association establish a lobbying office in your country, then your nation, too, can rise to greatness.

In the meantime, it is entirely possible that God will only bless America.

Tough break, world.


JochenVdV said...

This has Catch-22 written all over it...
A somewhat related incident happened in Belgium last year, be it with less casualties. Luckily, the weapons lobby here is not as strong as the NRA. Within the same month, a law was passed which stated the need for a thorough screening for every purchase of a firearm.

Unknown said...

I guess my biggest issue with this is WHY DOES IT TAKE A TRAGEDY for legislators to move. Our goverment seems to be very reactionary instead of progressive. Now, I dont believe people with mental problems should have weapons but why wasn't that on the books a LONG time ago. My two cents.

Adam M. Donahue said...

I love how the same people who despise Bush and his supposedly tyrannical control over government want to strip themselves and others of the very means through which the Founders intended people to defend against such tyranny.

I'm not saying it's bad to keep arms out of the so-called "mentally ill" - it sounds "obvious" to do.

Hmm. Obvious, huh?

Did you know that at one point homosexualism was considered a mental disease? And that the criteria through which it was labeled a disease, though evolved, are essentially the main diagnostic factors used to label others of having mental illness today.

In a sense, despite your normally liberal rhetoric, if one takes your post seriously you are engaging in the same bigotry that you otherwise tend to berate.

Finally, let me say that this statement is not intended to defend the shooter or justify reasons people may need to ability to carry around firearms.

With regard the Second Amendment, however, the mentally ill, or anyone a potential target of tyranny, should absolutely be allowed to keep and bear arms.

And so while this Congressional action is, unfortunately too late in coming and, indeed, likely unconstitutional - it looks like Miller (1939) may finally be reversed - it's misguided as well. It's another band-aide to a gun problem/non-problem, depending on how you look at it, that skirts the true issue of why the right to bear arms was embedded in the constitution to begin with.

Steven Feuerstein said...

Regarded vexed comments:

Thanks so much for raising the issue of what it means to be "mentally ill." Point very well taken. That term can be and is abused. That abuse should be addressed. But I don't think that the solution is to allow anyone and everyone to carry a gun.

But I am not going to start a debate on this blog entry regarding that. You believe in a particular (and particularly absolutist) interpretation of the 2nd amendment. I do not. Though I must say that I do not believe that citizens generally should not be allowed to own a gun. You are right; we do need to be ready and able to fight tyranny.

I also agree that controlling access to weapons is not the solution to the fundamental problem in our society, which I believe is that we have allowed capitalism as a system to trump our democracy, and related to that, we have allowed corporations to be granted rights that should only be given to citizens.