** Nevada Progressive offers a good summary on the politics of comprehensive immigration law reform. Add to this, Antonio Villaraigosa’s op-ed piece, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform: The Time Is Now.”
** The recent exceedingly insensitive and hyper-hypocritical ad from the National Rifle Association gets the treatment it deserves in “NRA ad targets Obama’s kids…” and welcome advice in “Trolls don’t deserve a seat at the table.”
The gun-lusters keep telling me that “Gee Whiz, the AR-15 isn’t the most powerful gun out there…A person could use a ____________ (fill in the blank with the caller’s weaponry of choice.” The point appears to be that the poor AR (A for Assault, R for Rifle) is getting picked on. I wouldn’t want to try to make this point to the parents of Ben Wheeler, one of the victims of the Sandy Hook Massacre. [MSNBC with video] Perhaps this is the time for us to deal with the graphic gore in that tragic classroom? This, from the chief medical examiner tasked with doing the autopsies on the slain children:
“Everybody’s death was caused by gunshot wounds and obviously the manner of death on all these cases have been classified as homicide,” Carver said.
He said that he personally performed seven autopsies and those children had between three and 11 wounds each. Two of them were shot at close range, the others at a distance.
“This is a very devastating set of injuries,” Carver said. “I believe everyone was hit more than once.”
“I’ve been at this for a third of a century and my sensibility may not be the average man’s, but this is probably the worst I’ve seen.” [DKos links with video of the press conference]
There are sentient points to be made about the technicalities of firearm classifications, BUT (1) merely because illegal weapons can be purchased in black markets doesn’t preclude the necessity of banning the sale of military style weaponry which places our children, our law enforcement officers, and even ourselves in danger. As one who generally opposes the extension of drug availability, I don’t see any reason to make either contraband drugs or contraband firearms easier to obtain. All too often drugs and guns create a toxic mix — especially for law enforcement; (2) and, no we’ll not de-glamorize gun violence statutorily, but we can, and should, make the acquisition of firearms a more stringent process; and (3) while no single package of legislation will ever eradicate gun violence, we can, and should, take rational steps to make firearms more difficult to obtain by those who are irrational, or criminal. We make bank robbery a criminal act, even though we know that the presence of a statute in the books doesn’t prevent the lazy and greedy from attempting it, and periodically succeeding. We need to make the same effort to make gun massacres more difficult to perpetuate.
** Filibuster reform is another hot topic du jour: The inimitable Bill Moyers urges we take action on Filibuster Reform. As the cliché goes — if you don’t read anything else, make it this piece.