22 May 2013

This is what the NRA (and Congress) enables

It was another case of a bad guy with a gun. Today, a Philadelphia area defendant pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for an incident last summer in which he shot into a crowd during an argument about drugs, injuring two people, including his mother, who was caught in the crossfire. The shooter was wheelchair-bound, and managed to shoot with his right hand while steering his wheelchair with his left.

Perhaps most alarming, though, is that the defendant has a long criminal history. He was a convicted felon prior to this shooting and should not have had a gun.

If we had reasonable gun restrictions in place, including mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, this shooting might not have happened.

But the NRA, which aggressively lobbies against universal background checks, seems to want unfettered access to deadly weapons for all. That's not surprising, considering that the CEOs of two gun manufacturing companies sit on its board of directors. Weeding out the bad guys would weed out some profits.

So they preach that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." But where was the armed good guy when this felon shot his mom? And if there had been a good guy there with a gun, how many other innocent bystanders might have been caught up in the additional crossfire?

To the NRA, it seems, profits from gun sales are more valuable than human lives. Ditto Congress, as long as they continue to serve the NRA instead of their constituents.

And so this stuff keeps happening.

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