’Quit pandering to the NRA’

Another mass shooting underscores the need for stricter gun laws

The mass shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua College is proof our country desperately needs stricter gun laws. It’s time for Congressman Doug LaMalfa and his right-wing, 18th-century-minded supporters, both in Congress and in our community, to quit pandering to the NRA. Even if the misguided concept that the Second Amendment did—at the time—permit us to have guns so as to protect the citizenry from a “tyrannical” government (which it didn’t), those days are long past.

The NRA’s concept that a rebellion of a citizen “militia” armed with small arms would be capable of defeating our federal armed forces is akin to pulling the biggest 13 workers off a construction site, handing them a football and expecting them to defeat the Green Bay Packers. If those workers were carrying guns, the most logical outcome would be that they’d end up shooting each other.

Republican Congressman Steve Stockman, of Texas, said a few years ago that “The very purpose of the Second Amendment is to stop the government from disallowing people the means to defend themselves against tyranny.” I’m sure Congressman Stockman believes our current government is “tyrannical,” so why haven’t he and his constituents marched on one of the 15 military bases in Texas?

Of course, this doesn’t even touch upon the issue of who gets to decide whether the government is tyrannical. Is this also Congressman LaMalfa’s responsibility? Can his Army of Northern California march on Washington?

So, once again, we are going to sit back and say, “Gosh, ain’t it awful,” and pretend the smartest people in our country are Hank Williams Jr. and Ted Nugent. Do we have to wait until this happens at Chico State or Butte College or one of our local public schools before we get angry? We need to join the ranks of all the world’s civilized countries and impose stricter regulations on gun sales, ownership and access.