"When we look at the pictures of those dead children at Sandy Hook," Martin O'Malley intoned, "can we honestly look in the mirror and say that we're doing enough?" Or words to that effect. Enough already, ok? Everybody is outraged at the murders of those poor kids, but wouldn't it be great if liberal/socialist/Democrats (LSDs) and their allies in the Mainstream Media (LSDMSM) would stop using them as a political football?
In answer to the Governor's question, "No. We aren't doing enough." His solution, however, is all wrong. It penalizes only those who obey the law, not the criminal.
At the same time he's calling for more control over the law-abiding, Mr. O'Malley urged lawmakers to repeal the death penalty because "it's expensive. It costs three times as much as locking someone up for life." Well, fine. If that's the problem, how about shortening the appeals process which only fattens the wallets of the trial lawyers anyway?
"It (the death penalty) cannot be administered without racial bias," the Governor nonsensically declared. "It's not a deterrent," he said.
Maybe not, but A.) Racial bias is not really part of the death penalty equation. It's about who committed the crime. It's about the particularly heinous nature of certain crimes which merit no less than the permanent removal of the guilty from all human society, including the prison population. Like the crime that occurred at Sandy Hook for example.
B.) Whether the death penalty deters crime or not, who cares? It is a punishment. It guarantees that the perpetrator won't be getting up out of the ground to do it again. True, an innocent person could conceivably be put to death, but DNA science and modern forensic techniques severely reduce the chance of that kind of mistake happening.
Mr. O'Malley called for a requirement that all prospective gun owners be licensed, which sounds suspiciously like he's really after yet another state government "revenue raiser," not unlike speed cameras.
He also called for a ban on "assault weapons," which are apparently defined as whatever he says they are. Maryland State Attorney General Doug Gansler and Jamie Raskin (LSD-Takoma Park) lent moral support.
"Not only are the proposed hangun-license qualifications constitutional under the 2nd Amendment, but law-abiding gun owners have nothing to fear," Mr. Gansler said. "The qualifications do not allow for confiscation of guns nor could they under the Heller decision (in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 2nd Amendment guarantees the individual his right to possess and carry a firearm, but that the right is not unlimited. The LSDs intend to take full advantage of those last five words)."
Quote: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Unquote. That's what the 2nd Amendment says. Does anyone see any mention of a licensing fee in there?
Mr. Raskin is allegedly a Professor of Constitutional Law at American University. "It (the 2nd Amendment) gives people the right of self-defense with a handgun, at least in their home," he said. Hmmm, let's read it again. Ok. Nope. Nothing about "in the home" either, but it's very generous of him to admit that much. Does he mean, however, that once you've left your home, you might as well paint a target on your back?
"It (the 2nd Amendment) gives people the right to a rifle for the purposes of hunting and recreation," he blathered on. Hold up. Looking again. Still scanning. Sorry, nothing. "But the court was clear," he went on, "that the 2nd Amendment does not give people a constitutional right to possess every firearm or weapon that exists." Well, nobody says that it does, but "assault weapons" are already banned.
For example, machine guns and Browning Automatic Rifles (BARs), are "assault weapons." They are capable of full-automatic fire and have been pretty much off the market since the 1930s. You can't pick one up at the local gun shop. It's true that they may still be bought, but not without the purchase of a special license which for most of us, is prohibitively expensive. The licensing process is also time consuming and not worth the effort for anyone but the most enthusiastic collectors. Still, that doesn't stop the LSDs from labeling a semi-automatic rifle as an "assault weapon" because it has a military style appearance or can be loaded with a large magazine, or comes equipped with a bayonet mount, all of which is pure, unadulterated crappola.
Mr. Raskin wasn't nearly finished though. "Once you get beyond the handgun and the rifle, all reasonable regulation is permissible, including prohibition." Now, there's an ambiguously key word, if ever there was one. Reasonable? To whom, exactly?
Owning a firearm is a right "that has existed in conjunction with the government's power to closely regulate gun ownership," he said. Really? Then why, pray tell, does the 2nd Amendment clearly say "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?"
Perhaps anticipating that someone was about to mention that the 2nd Amendment was inserted into the Bill of Rights in order that citizens might protect themselves from a corrupt, tyrannical government, Mr. Raskin said, "There is no right in the Constitution of armed revolution."
No, in the Constitution there is not. No government would shoot itself in the foot like that. Um, sorry. However, the Declaration of Independence says, quote, "Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed - That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it." I'm no Professor of Constitutional Law, but that's pretty straightforward. Does the study of Constitutional Law somehow exclude the study of History?
"We settled that question (the right of armed revolution) in the Civil War," Mr. Raskin mercifully concluded, while at the same time inadvertently answering that question. He's wrong again. The question of whether an individual state had the right to secede from the Union is what was settled when the Confederate armies laid down their arms. The answer was "No, an individual state has no right to secede."
On top of it all, the Huffington Post, leading with the story of a child shooting himself to death with his father's gun, moaned that, since the attack at Sandy Hook, "gun deaths" have topped 1,280. It doesn't state whether the figure includes suicides, accidents, gang-related murders, etc. Details. What a bother.
Bloomberg News screams hysterically that, by 2015, gun-related deaths will exceed traffic fatalities. What's next? Death by overdosing on 20 oz. Coca-Colas to exceed accidental drowning?
Let's do the math. The attack took place roughly six weeks ago, so 52 divided by 6 weeks equals about 8.7. 1,280 times 8.7 equals about 11,000 gun-related deaths annually, which is about, or maybe slightly above, average. By way of contrast, more than 40,000 people die every year in automobile accidents. More than 26,000 die as a result of an accidental fall. Unintentional poisonings result in more than 33,000 deaths.
Accidental shootings? 600 annually. The child in the Huffington Post story died because his stupid father, who was supposed to be watching him, left a loaded gun within the child's reach. The child's unfortunate death was due to his carelessness, and his alone.
70-80 million Americans own guns. Most of them are responsible people who know how to, and do handle firearms safely as the 11,000 gun-related deaths per year would testify. That's one death for every 7 or 8,000 gun owners. The Governor, to his credit, does call for better monitoring of the mentally unstable, in order to keep guns out of their hands. But we can do more than that. Let's go after criminals and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
Why not go after street gangs and disarm them? We know who and where they are. We know what they do. We know how they make their money. Punish them for it. Put them in prison, and while we're at it, let's make prison the kind of place to which nobody ever wants to return if he's ever released. Prison should be a nightmare world. Take away the color TVs and state of the art gymnasiums. Force criminals to learn a trade, to get an education as a condition of release. If they refuse, then put them to work on the rock pile until they see the error of their ways.
And take race as an issue out of the death penalty debate. If a crime rates the death penalty, don't shy away from it. Call it what it is and punish it, no matter the color of skin. Make criminals respect, and fear the law. Had the Sandy Hook shooter lived, on the appointed date of execution, there would have been hundreds of sign-carrying jackasses protesting "state-sponsored murder," shedding tears and gnashing their teeth over the "wasted humanity."
The fact is, that when the shooter opened up on those children, he threw his humanity away. It says here that when he squeezed the trigger, he was no longer a human being, but a rabid animal. A rabid animal must be put down. The shooter committed suicide before society could put him down.
But someone has to pay the penalty for the deaths of those children. As usual, it won't be the criminal. Until the LSDs figure out which end of the barrel the round exits, maybe they should stick to their dreams of building offshore wind farms. They won't work either, but it gives them something to do.