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Commentary: America: Playing with guns?
Published on January 11, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Rebecca Theodore

The political crusade for tougher gun control laws is another heated dispute of the day. Americans have made guns the divine savior of their lives. Guns are the American way of liberty. Guns are a pursuit to happiness -- “For the rights of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

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Rebecca Theodore is an op-ed columnist based in Washington, DC. She writes on national security and political issues. Follow her on twitter @rebethd or email at rebethd@aol.com
Although Harvard School of Public Health study stresses that the US has the highest rate of gun ownership and gun homicide in the developed world, and statistics confirm that more than 30,000 American lives are cut short by guns each year, critics continue to assert that President Obama will have little success enacting substantive gun control policy laws. It is also their assumption that gun sales will continue to rise as legislation are implemented, thus giving more political power to the National Rifle Association (NRA) to help them to push their scheme to the mainstream.

Accordingly, the New York Times reports that “Gun sales rose in New Jersey in 2013 after Gov. Chris Christie proposed measures that included expanding background checks.”

Given the circumstances, President Obama’s executive actions on gun control to keep guns out of the wrong hands through enforcement of license and thorough background checks through a trust corporation or other legal entity by the Bureau of Alcohol and Firearm, continue to come in sharp contrast to Second Amendment fundamentalism.

As well, the uncanny argument that stresses the Second Amendment is a constitutional right to protect liberty also enters a new phase of reasoning in the actions of US Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Sending letter to states highlighting the importance of receiving complete criminal history and convening calls with district attorneys and direct federal prosecutors to focus on smart and effective enforcement on gun laws may prove that constitutional amendments exist to serve the people.

But opponents continue to enlarge their reasoning in the invocation of District of Columbia vs Heller Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment ‘protects an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defence within the home.’

Moreover, an increase of $500 million investment to mental health care funding of more than 200 Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm agents and investigators to help enforce gun laws will also serve the intent of the Second Amendment as a citizens check against overreach.

While it is also true that gun laws differ in all 50 states in America, President Obama’s gun control policy strengthens existing laws, and not only help to shape the future of gun safety technology but also prohibit the mental insane from possessing a firearm.

On the other hand, President Obama “hammering of congressional Republicans for opposing measures like expanded background checks and calling on Americans to punish them at the polls” is still missing an important point.

It must be remembered that it was strong support for gun control policies that continue to cost Democrats elected seats in West Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, Arkansas, Colorado Pennsylvania and elsewhere and that the National Rifle Association is also very powerful in key battleground states voting for presidents.

This means that particular attention must be given to the National Rifle Association. If the National Rifle Association continues to exert its political power and money in the gun control policy controversy, then the political soul of America may very well be veiled in the barrel of a gun.
 
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