Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Please Curb That Gun, and Get a Doggie Bag for Yourself

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Please Curb That Gun, and Get a Doggie Bag for Yourself

A film has been released showing the shooters at Columbine High School firing their weapons and commenting on what it would be like to shoot people. A few weeks later, they, and the world, found out. Despite this tragedy, and despite the tragedies that occur daily across our nation, many still refuse to admit the sad but important truth: There are too many guns available and too many of these guns find themselves into the hands of irresponsible people.

A major problem with the gun control issue is the rhetoric has permitted most discussions on the issue to lose their proper focus. Any attempt to address the matter responsibly is met with brutal attacks falsely claiming that any step towards making gun ownership more responsible is a plot to pry guns away from the hands of all. Like me make this vividly clear: This is absolutely false.

There is no legislation, nor any politician, advocating eliminating guns, nor even any legislation or politician proposing to take away hunting guns. Rest assured, any politician who ever did so advocate would immediately be politically buried. Still, associations with connections to gun manufacturers, who favor sales to anyone who can purchase their product, may stir paranoid fears that taking away your gun and my gun and everyone’s gun is what motivates gun control efforts. That simply is not true.

The hypocrisy of groups such as the National Rifle Association reached a zenith during its opposition of an amendment that sought to allow Philadelphia to ban assault weapons in public housing. A landlord has the right to ban weapons. The city of Philadelphia, as landlord of public housing, should have the right, if they so choose, to decide to implement the same ban that many other landlords choose. Yet, the NRA led a successful drive to defeat this amendment. By some convoluted logic, if you ban gun ownership in city public housing, your right to hunt deer might someday be imperiled.

Just so everyone is clear: there is no need for a public housing tenant to have an assault weapon. There are very few deer roaming the streets of Philadelphia. There is no place in Philadelphia where one may legally hunt deer. Even if a public housing tenant wanted to legally go deer hunting, an assault weapon is not the gun of choice to hunt deer.

Let us be clear, just in case this is news to an NRA member: A person has an assault weapon in Philadelphia has one in order to shoot humans. The ratio of humans shot with assault weapons by Philadelphians compared with the number of deer shot with assault weapons by Philadelphians is astronomical. In case anyone doubts that, I urge the NRA to conduct a scientific survey of Philadelphia public housing tenants who own assault weapons as to whether their guns are used more to protect drug dealing or used more for deer hunting.

There is a need to restrict and register guns. Restricting guns so they are kept out of hands of felons and the insane makes sense. Registering them to enable the police to better solve crimes makes lots of sense. Banning rapid fire guns that are useful only for killing people and that cannot be properly used for hunting, and banning bullets that can pierce police vehicles that are used by criminals and not by hunters, makes so much sense that even an NRA member should realize it.

Fortunately, surveys show there is a sizable group of NRA members who do understand that these items make perfect sense. As responsible gun users, they know the harm that can be caused by irresponsible gun users. Yet, the leadership of the NRA has fallen to people with political motivations. It is sad to see the politicization of a once prominent organization that was known more for its advocacy of proper gun safety and competitive marksmanship. Instead, it has become an organization that galvanizes a minority of its membership into political activism. This in itself is fine, and increased political awareness and dialogue is good. The distortions on the issue, and the use of fear to mobilize activism, is just, plain wrong.


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