Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The great gun debate

Another trip to the confessional here, before I discuss last night’s ‘Live From the Newsroom’ show.

I’m not a gun guy. I don’t own a  firearm. In fact, if you discount my checkered career with a BB-gun when I was a kid, I’ve never fired a gun.

But I think we have a gun problem in this country. A lot of people do, never more so than in the wake of the latest shool shooting that left 20 innocent children and six adults massacred in a Connecticut school.

Let me start with a couple of ground rules. Guns are not going away. No one is thinking the Second Amendment is going to be overturned. That's not to say we don't face serious isses. We talked about them last night.

We welcomed Lansdowne Mayor Jayne Young, local police gun supplier Dusty Rhoads, and lifetime NRA member Dan McMonigle to join us for a panel discussion on our live-stream broadcast. If you missed it, you can catch the replay here.

Young is a member of a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. They want mandatory background checks for all gun sales.

What McMonigle wants, and which he made a pretty cogent argument for, is enforcement of the laws already on the books. It’s a familiar refrain from the NRA. That doesn’t make it wrong.

In fact, Vice President Joe Biden said pretty much the same thing when he assembled his recommendations for President Obama. He also added something else. The government doesn’t have anywhere near the manpower it needs to enforce the rules.

Maybe that’s where we should start.

We also talked about the specific rifle used in the Newtown attack, the Bushmaster AR-15, and the push to ban high-capacity magazines.

I dont’ claim to have all the answers when it comes to gun control. I cede that ground to my partner on the show, columnist Gil Spencer.

What I think we need is a lot more conversations like the one we had last night.

What do you think? Agree or disagree?

Don’t be silent. This issue is too important. It’s not going away. Those 20 angelic faces that are no longer walking into Sandy Bank Elementary School have changed the nation.

The question now seems to be not if something is going to be done, but what.

Everyone’s voice should be heard. Feel free to weigh in here.

 

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