When it comes to efforts at gun control in a nation sick with mass shootings, I like to cite the chicken soup rule: When you are ailing, it is said that a hot bowl of chicken soup can’t hurt, and it might even help get you on the mend. The broth is not going to cure what ails you, but that’s not a reason to reject it.
The same can be said of gun-control: Eliminating or limiting access to certain assault-style weapons can’t hurt the cause of ending mass shootings, and it might even help stop a few.
But I fear the patient is far too gun-sick for old-timey folk remedies to hold sway. The myth of the government coming to “take your guns away” is one of the more persistent sky-is-falling shriekouts the National Rifle Association and its supporters have been toting out since President Barack Obama was elected.
The NRA’s influence is so pungently hostile to any reasonable efforts at gun control that the Republican Congress won’t even fund a study on gun violence, because the NRA won’t let them. After the recent Planned Parenthood/San Bernardino double-bill of terrorist shoot-outs—and after Congress again chickened out on a background-check bill—Obama said enough is enough and started to tee up executive orders to end the so-called gun-show loophole, and make it difficult for suspected baddies on the no-fly-list to buy a gun.
Obama might as well have said he was replacing the Second Amendment with the Sharia Amendment. The over-reaction from gundamentalists was as intense as it was predictable. The ruddy-faced Constitutionalists of the Northern California branch of the Oath Keepers posted on social media that the Obama move could trigger a revolution in America. Sensing that Obama was going to take away guns that they didn’t yet own, thousands of Californians went to the gun shop to load up on the AR-15s—including many from our peaceable little kingdom of the North Bay. No soup for you!
Tom Gogola is the Bohemian’s news editor.
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