After every gun tragedy people want action but of course support for that drains away as soon as the images are off the TV screens. But the NRA and the Repugs are relentless. So no wonder no politician wants to touch the guns. Various people are challenging Obama to do something but the second he says anything the Repugs will jump all over it. This article discusses the dilemma here:
Secondly, if President Obama’s first term taught us anything (remember the debt ceiling debate?) it’s that partisanship is so out of control that even a whiff of support from Obama can slow progress. It’s sad, but true: Republicans have repeatedly criticized the president for not “leading” on an issue in order to force him into taking a stand. Then once he does, they do everything in their power to defeat it simply because his name is attached to it.
There is essentially zero chance of Washington doing anything. Although, I believe it would be good politics, for the Dems, to try, since after defending the rich as their true bottomline next comes guns for the Repugs, so instead of letting Repugs continue their attack on Social Security put them on the defensive to support guns. The public will soon forget this tragedy, as they forget the others, and so the effort will fizzle out, but at least for a while the Rethugs will be tied up defending yet another unpopular (but with large bribes) issues.
So, instead, I think the states have to be the ones to step up. With Scalia holding down the right to massacres in SCOTUS states are actually possibly stronger to take action than Washington might be. The angle that guns are a public health issue, an issue that is normally a state issue, may provide some leverage.
Follow the example of the right wingnuts, on abortion. SCOTUS says abortion is legal and except for a few quibbles over funding Washington is deadlocked. So across the country the primitive religion-driven states have attacked with every thing they can think of, from vaginal probes to personhood to impossible-to-meet regulations on the clinics. All this creative chipping away at women’s reproductive rights has not (yet) destroyed Roe but in some states has made Roe virtually irrelevant.
So states, obviously the blue states, can do the same thing (and, here’s another challenge, public, you’ll have to get involved in this the same way the tax-subsidized churches do in their herd mentality driving their people into the picket lines). Get creative, states. Not just another waiting period or more paperwork, NRA knows how to get around that.
First, taxes. Hey, that always works and there is probably some more budgets to balance. 500% tax on handguns might be interesting. Plus, require a license, and set the fee for that at a huge amount. And violating either of these means confiscation. States require inspections for cars, how about annual (with big fee) inspections for guns. Require intrusive psychological evaluations for gun purchases. Require any dealers or sales people to go through extensive training course (to spot nut jobs) and licensing, at high cost, of course. Treat gun shops like abortion clinics, needing all sorts of complex and expensive regulations. Require environmental impact statements, about lead, but all ammo.
Come on, there must be a ton of creative things that can be done, to delay, raise costs, embarrass (yes, let’s publish names of gun owners on a registry like sex offenders), and so forth. This will blow up the NRA budget in all the litigation this is going to trigger. It will flood the courts with cases. Scalia will be so busy pushing back on nuisance lawsuits he won’t have time left to get guns to nutjobs for more massacres.
Any idea the “works” (gets through legislatures and passes legal muster) will quickly get copied. But lots of diversity of approaches is even better. Totally different rules in one state versus another (the states should coordinate to make sure this happens). Then the NRA will be screaming for federal regulation to prevent the crazy quilt of state regulations and now there is some leverage for negotiations.
But most of all put the Repugs on the defensive, just as the their lapdog service to rich has be tied to them. Show that Repugs are pro-murder and pro-massacre, just as the anti-abortion folks have tried to do that to Dems (is there an equivalent to the plastic fetuses in bottles to wave around at demonstrations at gun stores?). Make the Repugs admit the truth, that they support mass killing and see if finally you can get enough of them to run from that so action in Washington becomes possible.
It’s sad that these tragedies have no lasting effect (except the decreased regulation of guns based on wild west notions of let’s-have-shotouts when everyone is armed). But the public’s attention is short and NRA’s is focused, do don’t expect Dems to carry the ball on this one. Take the action to the states, get those governors and those legislatures on the hot seat, and get the ball rolling.
Gay rights was born in the states, not in Washington; stopping gun massacres can start there too.