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Minnesota’s delegation mostly mum on Obama gun plan

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden
REUTERS/Jason Reed
President Barack Obama unveiling a series of proposals to counter gun violence as Vice President Joe Biden looks on during an event at the White House on Wednesday.

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People talk about getting special interests out the legislative process, the NRA is the most powerful lobby in the US and it for the most part calls the shots dealing with any type of gun legislation. The NRA has a pretty good track record of getting politicians defeated that do not agree with their agenda. If you want Washington to be free of special interests start with the NRA.


I would be inclined to forgo the weapon and magazine ban and instead concentrate on the mental health issues and gun registration. Banning one type of weapon is ineffectual as individuals bent on mass murder would simply switch to a different type to accomplish the same goal. Unless we ban most or all guns it's simply kicking the can down the road.

Banning high capacity magazines is a non-starter as it's ridiculously easy (and fast) for a gunner to swap magazines. A practiced individual can drop the old magazine and slap a new one in place before the spent cartridge from the first magazine even hits the ground. Also, the high capacity magazines, quite frankly, suck. They jam easily, which frequently renders them useless. But a lot of people think they look cool and picked them up based simply on that criteria. Keep them on the market and let people pick up that worthless junk.

Mental health issues though would, in my opinion, be an effective area to concentrate on. Since the mental health hospitals were closed in the '60s and '70s, all those people have been dumped undiagnosed on the streets. These days they end up in prison, where they get little or no help for their problems. It would be much better to see insurance companies give mental ailments the same attention and coverage they give physical ailments. But to get that in place we would have to make a move towards universal single payer health plan, which would be a tough one to get through.

Sorry for the post that's TLTR (too long to read), but there's my 2¢.

What's your opinion on

weapons capable of high rates of fire and ammunition such as the shredder and armor piercing rounds available today?

Frankly, I'm not worried about what a practiced individual can do with military grade weapons - I'm concerned about the person who knows enough to pick one up, load it and fire it quickly. In other words, the young men who've shot up schools, theaters and malls in the United States in recent years.

I'm also concerned about owners who leave loaded weapons about the house, where young children and teen agers can pick them up and, inadvertently or otherwise, kill themselves or each other. If I recall correctly, efforts to require that guns be equipped with or sold with trigger locks went down in flames not that long ago. Why?

Mass murders are the very small tip of a massive iceberg. Let's look to all of the ways in which guns are used to kill our children and our adults and find ways to reduce the carnage at all levels.