The Washington Post reported yesterday:
A working group led by Vice President Biden is seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the sources said.
Over at Red State, Moe Lane responds:
…None of which would have stopped the Newtown atrocity. The shooter stole the guns from his mother, who passed a background check (Connecticut has that); the guns, being stolen and used rather than resold, would have been effectively invisible to a hypothetical database; the guns were not in fact owned by a mentally unstable, violent person who used them to murder children (they were stolen by somebody who used them for that); and penalties for possession of firearms around schools or by minors obviously had no effect on the shooter (who was, by the way, a legal adult).
He makes a legitimate point.
As this debate moves forward, and it will, it's important to keep our heads, and wits, about us. The administration who vows to "never let a crisis go to waste" will certainly move to enact something here, although I suspect and terribly restrictive legislation will have a difficult time moving through Congress.
What we need to me more concerned about is Obama's already demonstrated penchant for running around Congress.
Tom Gresham has a rational, thoughtful op-ed today in which he says:
Americans will not willingly give up their guns. Nor should we. Gresham argues for the benefit of safety and education programs and that's something both sides can agree on.
As a sort of grounding plug to this whole debate one only need consider the story in the news today of the woman hiding in her attic who had to shoot an intruder to protect her two children. She had absolutely no choice in the matter.
I was reading some discussion about this case on Michael Yon's Facebook feed; Yon wrote:
There are numerous lessons here:
1) Do not break into someone's castle
2) .38 is too weak. Always has been. Always will be
3) 6 shots are not enough. What if there had been three intruders? She hit this guy five times and he was still alive and talking, which means he could still pull a trigger.
4) Do not mess with momma bear when she has cubs.
In the comments there was discussion about what a good shot this lady was. She hit him five times with her .38 revolver. He's got a punctured lung, punctured stomach, and a punctured liver yet he was still able to get in his car and try to drive away. I suspect she might upgrade to a weapon with a little more firepower. Or upgrade ammo.
If the gun-control advocates have their way, she wouldn't be able to upgrade to a semi-automatic style weapon with a clip or magazine.
Michael Yon raises a good point, though. What if you're attacked by more than one intruder and you only have six shots?
We need to keep level heads as this discussion moves forward. There are bad people out there, crazy people to be sure, and it's a plain fact that no amount of gun control will keep weapons from them. None of the proposals mentioned so far would have stopped the Sandy Hook massacre.
As for me, I'm going to learn how to shoot. I'm signed up for my first class already and I'm looking forward to learning.
(More at Memeorandum)