So now two lives have been claimed by people with hate in their hearts and deadly weapons in their hands. First it was Dr. George Tiller, and now a security guard at Washington’s US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The guard’s name was Stephen T. Johns, and he didn’t have to die. America should have been able to keep a rifle out of the hands of a known racist and anti-Semite, James von Brunn. We didn’t, and this is what happened.
Von Brunn was known to law enforcement. Back in 1981, he tried to take board members of the Federal Reserve hostage by actually entering the system’s Washington headquarters. He was armed with a revolver, hunting knife, and sawed off shotgun. He did time for that one, which leads to an interesting question. If 88 year old James von Brunn had a history of drunk driving or driving erratically at his age, there would have been some effort to take his driver’s license away. So how does a man who went to prison on assault and weapons charges manage to procure a rifle, especially if his extremist views were known to authorities?
The answer lies in part in the power of the gun lobby. When they say “If you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns”, they aren’t talking about James von Brunn. If the media does its job and asks how he got the rifle he used, the lobby will publicly wring its hands and decry the violence. At the same time, they’ll caution against blaming those law abiding citizens who have nothing better to do than blow off the head of a squirrel at 150 yards for “sport”.
Well, it’s time for a paradigm shift in that way of thinking.
It’s precisely because of those Second Amendment zealots that its easier to buy a gun in some states than it is to get a fishing license. We are reaping what we have sowed when it comes to George Tiller, Stephen Johns, or a young, innocent kid in the Bronx who gets caught in deadly crossfire.
There is no excuse for this. And by the way, don’t bet on the media asking too many questions about von Brunn’s rifle. They didn’t ask about Scott Roeder’s weapon in the Tiller case, so don’t expect anything different now. That’s how we operate here.
It’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell when it comes to guns. After all, it’s our sacred right to have them, whether we be racist or deranged.
Never mind the head scratching that goes on in the rest of the world when these events take place.
They’re wondering how America can lecture others about the need for restraint when it comes to weapons procurement when our own citizens are buying guns at a record clip.
I can’t figure it out. Can you?