In Pittsburgh on Saturday, three police officers were murdered, reportedly by an assault-weapon wielding man shooting 'hundreds of shots' who apparently believed the gun lobby propaganda that an 'Obama gun ban' would lead to his 'rights being infringed upon.'
This was just a day after 13 were gunned down in Binghamton, New York by a murderer who reportedly 'hated America and talked about assassinating the President' while his former co-workers felt that someday he might 'come in mad one day and shoot people.' These shootings were preceded by a month of shootings including eight shot dead in a North Carolina nursing home, five in a Santa Clara, California shooting, four police officers in Oakland and ten people in Alabama.
After each horrific shooting, some leaders in Washington have said the solution is to do nothing, simply continue to enforce the existing laws, just as we have been doing. The gun lobby, meanwhile, calls for weakening our already paltry laws to get more guns to more people in more places. It is time for the gun lobby to stop stoking fear among gun owners with false claims about the government. It is time for the gun industry to stop capitalizing on those ginned-up fears to spread weapons of war among the public.
The gun lobby's rhetoric has consequences. We have seen how profound those consequences can be.
We have a gun crisis in America. As important as the economic crisis is, the right to be safe at home and work and play needs at least as much attention from our policymakers as the right to economic security. It is time for leaders in Washington to drop empty platitudes after each horrific shooting, and instead do what they're paid to do: show backbone, and enact reasonable laws to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.
At the very least, require Brady background checks for all gun sales; restrict military-style assault weapons to the military and law enforcement and help law enforcement crack down on corrupt gun sellers.
What we're doing now is not working.