John Avlon Independent Nation

12.17.12

Time to Stand Up to the Gun Lobby

Taking on the organizations that champion guns is the best way to honor the littlest victims of our nation’s latest shooting tragedy.

The era of scraping and bowing to the gun lobby has to end, I write in The Telegraph.

"More than 200 Americans have been killed in mass shooting incidents in the last five years alone. The pattern is clear and the problem seems to be escalating: a mentally ill young man gets his hands on guns and massive amounts of ammunition. In the last six months alone we have seen slaughters in a screening of Batman in Aurora, Colorado, a Sikh Temple, an Oregon Mall and now this.

"But the reasonable policy debate that should emerge in the wake of each killing is stalled. We are numbed to the violence and hemmed in by a form of political correctness pushed by the right which says that it is insensitive to talk about gun control so soon after a shooting.

"This conformity of conversation is reinforced by the powerful gun lobby which targets politicians who vote against its interests. As a result, there has actually been an erosion of sensible gun laws in recent years, as Republicans have moved further to the Right and Democrats feel that aggressive support of gun control is a political liability in winning over rural voters."

Gun laws have actually loosened under Obama, even as he’s become a bogeyman for the National Rifle Association and the rest of the radical right. It’s time for the president to become the man the gun lobby fears.

Read the full column at The Telegraph.