Wayne LaPierre of the NRA has complained that Americans are blaming gun owners and his organization, in particular, for massacres like that in Newtown, Conn. But it is not about “blame.” It is about prevention. Americans citizens and our leaders are trying to figure out what measures are most likely to reduce this kind of gun violence.
Most Americans seem to think that separating the deranged and the predatory from their guns is a good idea. But how to do that, without violating patient confidentiality and without discouraging the mentally ill from seeking help, is not easy to figure out.
Nor is it always easy to figure out how to enable honest, law-abiding sportsmen and those who genuinely need guns for their personal protection to be able to do so while still protecting innocents from being gunned down by the crazy, the paranoid and the deluded. But that is what we need to do.
Digging in your heels, screaming about the government taking away your guns or taking up arms to defend the Second Amendment is not a healthy or useful way of contributing to this discussion.
Passing legislation in Oklahoma, as reportedly offered by Rep. Dahm, of Broken Arrow, that nullifies any proposed federal legislation and imprisons federal officials who try to enforce the law (What? Without trial? Without the presumption of innocence?) is unconstitutional on the face of it and can only make matters worse.
Oklahoma, we can do better. And if we don’t, the discussion takes place without us.