At his appearance in Penn Yan on Saturday, Rep. Reed affirmed that he is not shifting his position on gun control, despite the carnage among the little children of Newtown, Connecticut. It’s an emotional time for everyone, according to Rep. Reed, but that means it’s not a good time to be considering changes to gun laws. Anyway, the Congressman said, the real issue is not about the gun but about the person behind the gun.
These are time-worn talking points trotted out time and again by those who want to evade common sense gun controls.
Somehow, it’s just never the right time to be talking about gun legislation.
We all want to know what motivates the disturbed individuals who carry out mass killings, but the fact is that there are many, many disturbed individuals in our society. When mass killings occur, the issue really is about the gun, or in this case the guns. How can it be that disturbed individuals are able to obtain military-style automatic weapons, so powerful that every single dead child in Newtown suffered multiple wounds?
The second amendment is a fundamental, individual right, Rep. Reed says. Evidently, this rules out of bounds any discussion of responsible gun reforms, such as banning high capacity ammunition magazines and restoring the assault weapons ban that was repealed in 2004.
In New York, all purchasers of weapons at gun shows must undergo background checks, but New York is one of only six states with this requirement. Elsewhere, so-called “private” gun sellers can sell at gun shows with no checks whatsoever. This dangerous loophole needs to be closed by federal legislation, and soon.