Like so many things, we are often in such VIOLENT agreement that we don’t listen to each other in a way that will allow for forward progress.
This week Obama has put forth an executive order which is summarized as follows, on CNN.com:
The White House is seeking to expand background checks for buyers [of guns]. The measure clarifies that individuals “in the business of selling firearms” register as licensed gun dealers, effectively narrowing the so-called “gun show loophole,” which exempts most small sellers from keeping formal sales records.
Opponents of gun control are freaking.
On the other hand, we hear Wayne Lapierre, Executive VP of the National Rifle Association, share some startling facts about the “existing” background check system. Facts that the mainstream media simply does not share with us. In summary:
The existing database used for background checks does NOT include the names of millions of violent felons and others who are legally prohibited from owning firearms. In fact, many recent gun-related killings on US soil were carried out by culprits who actually PASSED the background check. Their names were not in the system.
Bottom-line: Any system is ONLY as good as the information placed within it. And, the information that is missing from the background check database is ONLY provided if our politicians DEMAND it, which they apparently have not been willing to do.
“If” the above facts are true then it would seem to me there is a worthwhile compromise (actually, some forward progress) that can be made.
This assumes we are in VIOLENT agreement that we should tighten who has the ability to own guns. More specifically, let’s take all necessary steps to prevent ownership by “known” felons and those legally prohibited from owning firearms.
This would involve:
- Expanding the requirement for background checks to be performed by ALL who sell guns.
- Making our government accountable to place the identities of ALL known felons and others who are legally prohibited from owning firearms in the background check database.
If we are going to make forward progress we need to look at the big picture (coming from both sides of the aisle) and stop chucking rocks at each other in violent agreement.
But, do we dare to do so? That is, actually listen to all sides of the conversation? Or, do we simply allow ourselves to get all wound-up by the messaging that is “spun” only from our side of the aisle.
Gotta go now and shoot a squirrel that is gorging himself at our bird feeder.