Ronald Reagan Might Have Got it Right!
By: George Addison
Article first published as Senseless Shooting Unlikely to Resurrect Calls for Gun Control on Technorati.
A night of fun and anticipation turned deadly for throngs of theater goers attending a late night screening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” in
Aurora, Colorado. A man identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, dressed in all black military styled ballistic gear, allegedly entered the theater and began shooting movie patrons as they tried to escape. Once the shooting stopped and the smoke cleared, 71 were shot and 12 people were dead.
The shooting, which some are calling the Batman Massacre, is just one of many shootings in a long list of incidents from James Brady to Columbine to Gaby Gifford and now Aurora, Colorado. At what point will Americans say, “Enough is enough?”
Former President Ronald Reagan perhaps got it right in 1991 when commenting in a New York Times opinion article about his shooting, saying, “I was lucky. The bullet that hit me bounced off a rib and lodged in my lung, an inch from my heart. It was a very close call. Twice they could not find my pulse. But the bullet’s missing my heart, the skill of the doctors and nurses at George Washington University Hospital and the steadfast support of my wife, Nancy, saved my life.
Jim Brady, my press secretary, who was standing next to me, wasn’t as lucky. A bullet entered the left side of his forehead, near his eye, and passed through the right side of his brain before it exited.” He further added, “ The nightmare might never have happened if legislation that is before Congress now – the Brady bill – had been law back in 1981.
”Yet, so far, the cries for revisiting gun control has been surprisingly mute. New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has shown courage by calling on President Obama and Mitt Romney to act on the issue. Mayor Bloomberg said,
“No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them concretely, not just in generalities – specifically what are they going to do about guns? I can tell you what we do here in New York. The State Legislature passed the toughest gun laws – some states may say no. That’s okay, what do you want to do? And maybe every Governor should stand up. But in the end, it is really the leadership at a national level, which is whoever is going to be President of the United States starting next January 1st – what are they going to do about guns? Mayor Bloomberg made his remarks while speaking on the John Gambling radio show (Village Voice).
Both President Obama and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave condolences to the families affected by the shooting. However, many people believe very little will be done on the issue of gun control during the remaining months of the campaign since the National Rifle Association, in a video, is accusing the President and his administration of trying to take your right to bear arms.
Romney, on the other hand, is seen as a friend of the NRA and odds are good that nearly every politician who is afraid of /or supported by the NRA hopes that the American attention span will remain short.
It’s ironic that we often-here people speak about life as precious, valued and irreplaceable. Yet, these sentiments are no match for a strong Washington gun lobby. The mourning and healing process for the victims, their families and the nation will be slow and painful as more is learned about the motive of James Holmes.
In the meantime, guns will continue to impact innocent lives like the 3 year old that accidentally killed his father, or used by people like Holmes and Nathan Van Wilkins, the alleged bar shooter in Tuscaloosa, Alabama who recently shot 18 people. Unless there is a willingness to take a stand against our culture of guns, Americans will continually find themselves pondering the fate of the 2nd amendment versus the sanctity of life.