Following the Tuscon shooting that killed six and seriously wounded 12 others including Representative Gabriele Giffords, members of the Brady Campaign asked to meet with House Majority Leader John Boehner to discuss ways to curb gun violence. Boehner said that “now is not the right time.” On the fifth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting Brady Campaign officials asked for a meeting with La. Sen. Vitter to discuss a bill he had introduced making it easier for the mentally ill to buy guns. Vitter was too busy.
Congressman Boehner isn’t too busy to visit tanning booths and Vitter found time to frequent New Orleans prostitutes.
Now we have 12 dead and some 50 wounded in a movie theater in suburban Denver. So when is the right time to discuss ways to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, convicted domestic abusers, terrorists, and mentally ill people who are a threat to themselves and others?
The guns rights advocates’ assault on the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and dialogue with elected officials has been blistering and deadly. With rare exception, politicians are so afraid of the National Rifle Association they won’t even talk to people looking for ways to curb this epidemic of violence.
Following the massacre at Virginia Tech, UCLA Professor Douglas Kellner monitored coverage on the Sunday news shows on all the major networks. The results debunked claims of liberal media bias. What he found was a feeding frenzy of right wing, pro-gun advocates. Only one gun control advocate spoke, and that was just for a few moments on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
So, when will our elected officials respect the First Amendment as much as they fear the Second? When will they engage in a dialogue?