The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Opinion

April 28, 2013

Political fear trumping safety in gun control debate

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Just four months after the massacre of elementary school children and teachers at Newtown, Connecticut, it appears the most modest of all gun control measures is now dead— the victim of a minority of uncourageous United States Senators capitulating once again to a powerful special interest.

Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords minced no words: “Senators looked over their shoulders at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby and brought shame on themselves and our government by choosing to do nothing. “ The defeated measure, intended to close the background check loophole for gun show sales and internet sales, was a watered down version. Dropped from its provisions were the calls for banning assault rifles and high capacity, multi-round ammunition clips. The loophole targeted was reportedly characterized by Senator John McCain several years ago as needed only by “criminals and terrorists.” To those two categories could be added the category of persons with mental illnesses.

Under the proposed bill, no one’s guns were being taken away and hunters did not have to worry about ammunition restrictions or some definitional snag which made a “shotgun” more than just a shotgun. Yet, despite its limited scope, in the end, the bill received only 54 votes, falling 6 votes short of the 60 needed for passage.

Initially, in the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, passage of an expanded background check bill seemed guaranteed. An overwhelming majority of the nation’s citizens supported the idea, as did most law enforcement leaders. The need was neither complex nor controversial. But then the NRA and gun lobby went to work. A collection of misstatements helped seal the measure’s defeat. The NRA claimed the legislation could apply to transfers between family members, falsely spreading the word that a gift of a hunting shotgun to a 12 year old grandson could be subject to a federal background check. The proposed bill excluded transfers within a family and between friends.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014