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We are seeing the expected push by the administration to initiate gun control legislation. It is also apparent that in order to convince the masses that this is something we all want, the media continues to keep the subject alive through every available resource. You’ll see in newspapers and on TV news that gun control is desired by the majority of Americans. You’ll see the NRA and their supporters condemned. Once again the media is dictating the dialog and position that Americans should take because that is what THEY want and THEY think America needs.
In an effort to avoid the appearance of support on either side, I’ll try to illustrate how the institute can intelligently provide guidance and avoid the ugly showdown that the media wants. First, let me say that it is so unfortunate that the tragic incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School should be the springboard for the media to launch a new campaign for gun control. It is our sincere hope that a needed meaningful dialog rather than a hysterical media frenzy will come from this horrific incident.
To provide some perspective I cite how business, industry and government all take the easy way out. It is easier to punish everyone, including the innocent, rather than doing the hard work to find the answer that punishes only the guilty. A simple example is where there are a series of car accidents involving 16 year old drivers. The outcome is new restrictions on all 16 year old drivers. So we are punishing innocent 16 year old drivers for the carelessness of two or three. We did this because it was easy. we see this repeatedly in many laws, regulations and policies.
In business and industry we frequently see the actions or abuses of a few employees result in new policies and restrictions on all employees. Again, punishing the innocent for the actions of a few. So the question here becomes, why will the action of a single individual result in legislation that can effectively “punish” a large population who have done nothing wrong?
Herein lies the answer to why a federal law is totally wrong. The “punishment” is imposed onto all states. At a minimum, it should be recognized that the issue should be resolved at the state level. Already there are various restrictions on gun ownership in individual states. That is how it should be handled. The citizens of the states, the constituents, must let their state representatives know their views. Then the state representatives can take appropriate action. It is far more likely that the true sentiment of the state constituency will be heard in the statehouses rather than a national media blitz directing the dialog and effectively controlling discussion and our U.S. congressional representatives espousing their “special interest” and PAC agendas.
The administration should keep out of it, the U.S. Congress should keep out of it. If the groundswell of support for control is really there, it will emerge and can be handled at the state level. However, the legislation introduced must be crafted in a manner that punishes only the guilty and not the innocent.