The nation's media have been feverishly pursuing stories about Alaska's Governor, Sarah Palin. Among other topics, they've been asking about her children.
My questions for Governor Palin are about children, too, but not just her children. I'd like to know her thoughts on how to make America's children safer. With gun violence taking eight young people in America every day, this should be an important issue in this campaign.
The Brady Campaign released a set of questions we'd like Governor Palin to respond to:
* In view of your being "a lifetime member of the NRA," what is your reaction to the disclosure that the NRA has been paying a woman to spy on gun violence prevention groups and the victims they represent for over 10 years?
* Most Americans, including President Bush, support banning military-style semiautomatic assault weapons. What is your position?
* Do you agree with Senator McCain that the "gun-show loophole"(allowing individuals to buy guns at a gun show with no background check from so-called "private sellers") should be closed?
* What did you mean when you described "attacks on our Second Amendment rights" as equivalent to gangs and drug use as something that would "harm family life." [Eagle Forum Alaska questionnaire, 7-30-06.] Does this include efforts by groups like the Brady Campaign to make it harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons?
* Do you agree with Senator McCain (as he stated on the floor of the Senate on January 21, 2004) that background check approval records for gun purchases should be kept for 90 days instead of 24 hours, that ATF should be able to require gun stores to conduct inventory audits, and that crime gun trace information should be more widely available to law enforcement and the public? [See Senator McCain's statement on the Senate floor, 1-22-04.]
The media spotlight on Governor Palin has been bright, and some of the focus has been of questionable relevance to our nation's concerns. But the questions above are fair and reasonable. I hope the media or the public will ask them and that she will answer them.