Saturday, July 21, 2012

Consensus

In highly polarized America, there are few areas where we have remarkable consensus. One of them is 'gun control has nothing to do with tragedies like Aurora shooting'. What a great nation! 

"Should this young man — whose nature was apparently so obvious to his mother that, when a ABC News reporter called, she said “You have the right person” — have been able to buy guns, ammunition and explosives? The gun lobby will say yes. And the endless gun control debate will begin again, and the lobbyists of the National Rifle Association will go to work, and the op-ed thinkers will have their usual thoughts, and the right wing will issue alarms, and nothing will change. And there will be another mass murder. 

That James Holmes is insane, few may doubt. Our gun laws are also insane, but many refuse to make the connection. The United States is one of few developed nations that accepts the notion of firearms in public hands." 

 -- Roger Ebert, NYT 

Meanwhile, the only national leader with credibility has no choice apart from expressing frustration:

“Soothing words are nice...

But maybe it’s time the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they’re going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country. And everybody always says, ‘Isn’t it tragic?’ I mean, there’s so many murders with guns every day...

It’s just gotta stop. And instead of these two people, President Obama and Governor Romney talking in broad things about, they want to make the world a better place. OK, tell us how. And this is a problem. No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them, concretely, not just in generalities, specifically, what are they going to do about guns?...

And I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I think it’s incumbent on them to tell us specifically”

-- NY Mayor Bloomber, Politico

The political constituency which otherwise would have made Gun Control as a political issue to argue about, here are they on this issue: 

"Ever since Al Gore’s defeat in 2000, it has become hardened conventional wisdom among Democrats that gun control is a losing issue for the party. And there’s no question that public opinion since 2000 has tilted toward greater skepticism of restrictions on gun ownership. ... 

What this means is that gun control is now overwhelmingly unpopular among the portions of the white electorate Obama is least likely to win anyway—and maintains solid majority support among the Americans most likely to actually vote for him."

-- Ronald Brownstein, National Journal 


Obviously, embattled Barack Obama is unlikely to be any adverturous in this regard. Looks like unless America has paid price of many, many more such mass massacres; we are unlikely to see thawing of this unhealthy consensus.


Update - I caught up with WaPo Editorial and was surprised by its forthrightness. I did not expect WaPo Editorial Board to leave its 'purple cozy political perch'....


The Editorial is right to chastise President than Romney. Being incumbent, it is the President who 'has to pay more political price' in being specific about gun control laws. I am not hopeful that Barack Obama will come honest here, but we will see.

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