Thursday, January 13, 2011

Of Guns and Crazies

It is a tragedy.  Please do not misunderstand me--the shootings in Tuscon are the work of a crazed person who needs to have his DNA removed from the planet.

But then I read the following from and article titled: Congressman Pete King to Introduce Gun Safety Bill After Arizona Shooting

Rep. Peter King said Tuesday he plans to introduce a new gun safety bill in Congress in the wake of the mass shooting in Arizona that killed six people and wounded 14 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
King said his bill would make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within a thousand feet of "certain high-profile" government officials.

And, I think--really? Just what we need, another unenforceable law on the books which will only be used to pile on top of other offenses when someone does something stupid and criminal. And--how does someone "unknowingly" carry a gun?  Even better--who can determine if someone "knew or not" that they were packing a gun?  Really?

And if they were able to charge Jared Loughner, the shooter in Tuscon, under this law--who would benefit?

Would the injured be less so or would the dead be alive again?


The problem is not going to be fixed by another almost meaningless and unenforceable law passed by representatives out of touch with what is happening in society.

We have enough laws which are essentially unenforceable and it breeds contempt for the entire legal system of the United States. We need smart and enforceable laws--not laws enacted for special interests designed to make it appear someone is doing something to address a problem. What is really happening is that the deeper social and mental health issues become lost in hot button issues and laws.

For example--look at speed limits. Who of us would not be totally enraged to receive a ticket for speeding 1 mph over the posted limit?  We all believe, in fact the deployment of speed cameras in Maryland has confirmed, that we can be exceeding the speed limit by 11 mph before running a risk of a ticket.  Why not raise all of the posted speed limits by 15 mph and enforce them as stated?

We must impress upon our representatives that laws need to be sane, meaningful, and enforceable. If only criminals are going to be charged after the event has occurred--then what is the deterrent value of the law? What does it add to the betterment of society? 

Say a prayer for the victims of this tragedy.

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