Our View: Fixers and Finger Pointers

December 21, 2012

Why didn’t Democrats didn’t call up and pass each of the measures they are now proffering as solutions to gun violence when they controlled all levers of government?

As the dust begins to settle on the unfathomable massacre of innocents that took place in Newtown, Connecticut last week, we can’t help but shake our heads at the blatant, willful exploitation of this tragedy in the name of advancing a keystone priority of the American left – gun control.

Well meaning folks on both sides of this debate can disagree, but we find the calculating hypocrisy of standard bearers such as Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) off putting to say the least.

While their list of people and organizations to blame for this massacre seems to grow by the day, we can’t help but wonder why the Democratic party didn’t call up and pass each of the measures they are now proffering as magic solutions to violence involving guns when they controlled the U.S. House of Representatives, the United States Senate and the White House during the 111th Congress.

Granted, their party was busy stripping Americans of their liberty in the healthcare arena at the time, but surely they could have found time to pass each and every gun control measure they wanted if they truly viewed it as a legislative priority.

To be sure, we don’t have our heads in the sand here at The Observer.

We believe that troubled people live amongst us – but we do not believe stripping law abiding citizens of their rights is the correct remedy for the larger societal problem.  Here in Colorado, we actually tend to agree with the measured approach that has (so far) been taken by Governor John Hickenlooper.

After assembling his cabinet to find ways to address this issue, Hickenlooper determined that the most critical marshalling of resources needed to happen in the mental health, assistance hotline and data sharing arenas to prevent lunatics from gaining possession of firearms.   That makes sense to us.

As Hickenlooper plows millions of dollars in to these efforts, Coloradans wait with baited breath about the announcement he made a week earlier that Colorado needs to pass additional gun control measures.  When pressed for specifics, the Governor didn’t have any (per usual).

While the desire to “fix” devastating events is only natural, elected officials at every level would do well to inject a bit of humility in to the current white-hot debate over violence in our society.  In short, neither the United States Congress nor the Colorado General Assembly has every answer to every problem.   Their challenge – and their charge – is to keep faith with the Constitution and demand data, statistics and thoughtful analysis before passing laws aimed to remedy social problems.

In the weeks and months ahead, we hope the much-ballyhooed “conversation” about guns in America will be thoughtful, measured and grounded in reality.   With leaders like Obama, Feinstein, Perlmutter and DeGette at the switch, what could go wrong?

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