Carolyn McCarthy to leave Congress

I am very sorry that her husband was killed, but again, then as now, a background check with a 15 day waiting period didn’t stop this mass shooting.  He (the shooter) was a legal gun owner.  There is nothing that further gun control would have done to prevent this that wouldn’t have also negatively impacted millions of legal gun owners  who would never think of committing a crime such as this.

It is a good thing she is leaving Congress.  No one should be elected and re-elected on essentially one issue, and no one should be allowed to make a career of being in Congress.  I’m all for term limits like on the presidency; if lawmakers knew they were only there for a limited time, perhaps they would spend more time serving the people who voted them into office rather than the lobbyists for mega-corporations.  Then again, maybe I’m just too much of an idealist.

Anyway, good riddance.  I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but enough already.

2 responses

  1. I’m an interested observer of the US gun debate, but before leaving my comment (and probably alienating half the readers) I should make a couple of disclosures:
    1. I’m pro-gun to the extent that I think suitable people should be allowed to have guns if they so wish for hunting and/or home defence (note the qualifications there); and
    2. I am not a gun owner, not because I am personally anti-gun, but because I live in Canada, I have three small children at home, and a wife who is anti-gun, all of which are Nature’s way of telling me that this is probably not the right time to be going out and buying a gun.

    So, on to my comment. It seems to me that there are some parallels between owning a gun and owning a car. We expect people to have a driver’s licence before driving a car, we expect some appropriate checks before the licence is issued (for example, pass a driving test and eyesight test), we don’t allow people to drive any vehicle they like (for example, an Army tank) and we expect people to comply with speed limits and other restrictions. All of these don’t prevent every single death by car, but they keep car deaths much lower that they would be if it was a general free-for-all, and they are generally viewed as sensible public health measures.

    So, on the basis that one could and should apply similar public health measures to gun use, I have difficulty understanding the US objections to, for example, background checks, passing a Firearms Safety Course (as we have to in Canada), limiting the types of weapons available to the public (for example, military style weapons) and limiting the magazine size.

    On the specific subject of magazine size, I follow a few survivalist-type blogs and podcasts, and my understanding of firefights and home invasions in real life (as opposed to the movies) is that they are usually over very quickly with zero, one or two shots being fired, at which point the homeowner has been shot and incapacitated, the invader has been shot and incapacitated, or the invader has run away at the mere sight of the gun. Given those real life scenarios, it would seem that a magazine size of 6 or so rounds would be adequate for the vast majority of occasions.

    • I don’t have a problem with background checks either, except that here in the US the DHS has begun keeping the results of background checks on a permanent basis, because it is an illegal form of gun registration.

      I also don’t have a problem with background checks except that people convicted of non violent crimes, who have successfully pulled themselves out of the gutter, are denied access to legal firearms on a permanent basis due to having a felony on their record – regardless of type, circumstances, restitution paid, debt to society paid, etc.

      I also don’t have an objection to background checks except that our government is also in the process of making mental health records of every person in the country available and correlatable with background checks and denying legal gun ownership to someone with, say, anxiety or depression. Because they might, you know, snap or something.

      And the plain fact of the matter is that criminals don’t go through background checks to acquire guns. They won’t follow the law no matter how diligent law abiding citizens are about following the law. In fact, I could go 1 hour away and procure a gun with no difficulty at all; it would not be registered (to me at least) and I would not have to go through a background check. It’s actually pretty easy if you know the right people.

      And finally, though I didn’t emphasize it in my blog post, the gentleman referenced in the post DID go through a background check, as well as a mandatory 15 day waiting period. It did NOTHING to deter him from his shooting. And it will do NOTHING to deter the next person either.

      My state no longer requires a gun safety class to concealed carry; I am of two minds about this but I often do carry. In my younger years I was the victim of an attempted home invasion. I was armed then and as you point out it required no actual shots fired; merely chambering a round was enough of a deterrent.

      I am against limiting magazine size for the simple reason that criminals, once again, will not bother to limit their magazine size. What good will it do me to end up in an armed confrontation with 5 or 6 rounds while my enemy has 20 or more? I live less than 200 miles from the Mexican border; I have seen gang related violence and I’ve nearly been caught in it once or twice when I was younger (through lack if situational awareness and lack of general cynicism sadly). I want more than 6 rounds if I’m ever in that situation again; I can tell you that regardless of how much you practice shooting, it’s all different when you have fear and adrenaline in your system.

      Generally, I think Canadians are truly different than Americans, in a good way. I wish it weren’t so, but I grew up near Canada and dealt with a lot of Canadians when I was growing up. I seriously didn’t realize Canadian money had different value until I was a teenager, we received it and spent it all the same as American. That general niceness and realization that the lone survivalist isn’t the way to live life is why your system works for you. It wouldn’t work here, the culture is all different in significant ways. More’s the pity.

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