The guts to stand up to guns

Print Article

The president has frequently repeated the NRA talking point that more extensive background checks on gun sales would not have prevented the recent rash of mass murders. Maybe so. It’s hard to accurately see what lurks in a murderer’s mind.

The NRA, and therefore Trump, are skeptical about “red flag” laws, arguing that such laws are based on supposition and hearsay, and could result in the government wrongfully confiscating someone’s property. Probably true.

Both Trump and the NRA are fond of repeating the old talking point that guns don’t kill people, only people do. There is a deadly difference, however, between the lethality of a claw hammer and a firearm. Likewise between a conventional hunting rifle or revolver, and a machine deliberately manufactured for mass murder.

That’s what a high-capacity clip makes the likes of ARs and AKs, now readily available in gun stores and gun shows. Limiting the clip capacity of firearms to a maximum of 10 rounds would certainly limit their capacity to kill. That is the reform that would unquestionably “do something” to reduce loss of innocent human lives.

Shotguns have had limited clip capacity for decades, and the courts have never found that limitation a violation of the Second Amendment. I’m betting they also wouldn’t find anything constitutionally wrong with limiting the killer clips for rifles. Methinks our wise and learned founders who drafted the Second Amendment wouldn’t either.

I think the best explanation for the diehard defense of the high-capacity gun clips is plain old campaign cash. It takes a lot more dollars to fill a 30-shot clip and “burp it off” than to learn to accurately and carefully target each bullet from a conventional big-game rifle. Those thus skilled are far more of a safeguard against a tyrannical government than camo-clad trigger-pullers with a their big clips will ever be.

The adrenalin high that trigger-mania gives the ammo addicts is what provides the dollars that supports the gun industry, and the political organization which lives off it, and pays for politicians.

The great motivation of members of Congress is to get re-elected. They rarely take strong stands that could threaten re-election or offend contributors. Expecting many of them to defy the gun lobby is to hope for what has never happened.

Now clips are being manufactured that hold a hundred rounds. Unlimited clips are uniquely useful for the limited purpose of slaughtering human beings. Can there be no such thing as a reasonable limit? Can we reasonably assume a mass atrocity won’t happen in Montana?

“Profiles in Courage” by John F. Kennedy is a Pulitzer Prize winning book about great acts of courage by a few largely forgotten members of Congress who risked their political careers to fight for what they believed was right. Senator Daines, Senator Tester, and Congressman Gianforte could perhaps qualify for an updated version of that great book. All it would require is the guts to stand up to the guns.

— Bob Brown, of Whitefish, is a former Montana Secretary of State and State Senate President. He is both a gun owner and a hunter.

Print Article

Read More Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor Jan. 19

January 19, 2020 at 8:41 am | Daily Inter Lake Passive senator Thank you to Sen. Jon Tester for having an open town hall meeting recently. That takes guts and not all of our elected representatives are willing to do this for us. One question ...

Comments

Read More

Water Rights Act the right thing for Montana

January 19, 2020 at 8:40 am | Daily Inter Lake I recently read an article written by state Sen. Al Olszewski (Inter Lake, Jan. 12) on Sen. Daines’ CSKT water legislation – an article that was filled with inaccuracies. As someone who has been in...

Comments

Read More

Developing a long-term Middle East policy

January 19, 2020 at 8:40 am | Daily Inter Lake America won the Cold War because every president since 1947 adhered to President Truman’s policy of “containment.” This was developed by George F. Kennan, a career foreign service officer, ambassad...

Comments

Read More

2019 was a monumental year for Montana ranchers

January 19, 2020 at 8:40 am | Daily Inter Lake We’ve reached a pivotal moment for Montana farmers and ranchers, as three critical trade deals are finalized and implemented. The benefits here are enormous, and I strongly believe Montana’s agricu...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2020 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X