A Small Step for Mankind

gun store

 

 I know the NRA has a death grip on the Republicans who control Congress but surely even the NRA can’t reasonably object to a common sense regulation suggested by Rachel Maddow last night.
AR-15 rifles are displayed on the exhibit floor during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Friday, May 20, 2016. The nation's largest gun lobby, the NRA has been a political force in elections since at least 1994, turning out its supporters for candidates who back expanding access to guns. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

AR-15 rifles are displayed on the exhibit floor during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Friday, May 20, 2016. (Top photo shows sign outside the gun store where the Orlando killer bought his weapons.)

On her MSNBC show, Rachel touted a proposal to make gun vendors tip off the FBI when some suspected terrorist buys an assault weapon.

I would go further.

I would mandate that the FBI be notified when anyone buys an assault weapon.

Of course, if I had my way, those deadly firearms would be banned. Only the armed forces or the police could legally own them. But  a Republican Congress just doesn’t have the guts to pass that kind of legislation. The NRA has those craven politicians cowering in fear.

Not only are they afraid of losing the NRA’s generous campaign contributions, they are terrified they might be accused of violating voters’ “constitutional rights.”

But nothing in the US Constitution says the FBI shouldn’t hear about it when a citizen decides to “bear arms” – especially a weapon designed explicitly for mass murder.

And nothing in the Constitution says guns and ammunition must be available online. That horror should be banned forthwith.

Any web site that advertises firearms, bullets or bombs – or tells you how to make explosives – should be taken down.

Free speech? Don’t make me cry.

It’s not free speech to abet mass murder. It’s a crime.

I’m sure law enforcement agencies have the technology to take down offending web sites. They should use it.

And if Congress won’t act to make arms merchants notify the FBI when they sell military-grade weapons to civilians, the President should explore the possibility of doing so by executive order.

It would be one small step for mankind.

Meanwhile, the nationwide crusade to end the unfettered sale of firearms must continue until some semblance of sanity prevails.

More on the debate

Arms on the web

More on the murder weapon

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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