Sunday, December 16, 2012

Perhaps the Most Important Speech of Obama's Presidency

Barack Obama's speech to the bereaved in Newtown tonight, to the bereaved across America, and his insistence that we have to do something to control or lesson this gun violence, that he will use the power of his office to do this, may be the important speech of his Presidency.

Guns - which exist for the purpose of hurting or killing some living being - have to be stopped, have to be taken out of the hands of people who use them to kill innocent people, in the case of Newtown, including little children.

Yes, we have a Second Amendment.  But nothing in that Amendment mandates the availability of guns so efficient that they killed 26 people, 20 of whom were little children, in mere minutes.  Some may interpret the Second Amendment as saying it does prevent the government from limiting the sale of any kind of firearm.  Good for them, they're entitled to their interpretation, but the President doesn't have to follow it.

Let the Supreme Court ultimately decide.   Governments violate the First Amendment every day, and its preclusion of any government interference on speech and press.   Those cases are ultimately decided by the Supreme Court.

Let the government start taking a chance with possible violations of the Second Amendment.  Congress should pass a renewed and extended ban on automatic weapons.  The President should immediately sign it.  And if Congress declines to pass such legislation, the President should use the power of his office to take those guns away from the people, anyway.   And if the Supreme Court ultimately decides that such actions are unconstitutional, at least some lives will have been saved in the interim.

But I think the Supreme Court will support such action.   As Obama rightly said, there are many things that led to the horrendous tragedy in Newtown.  But one thing is clear: a brutally effective killing machine in the hands of a lunatic meted out those bullets.   It's way past time we finally moved to put those killing machines away.
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