The Online Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.
Not all deaths involving guns are the same — therefore trying to address each incident from the same point of view is futile. Until we learn more about Alexis — the events leading up to the shootings and the motive — the tragedy in Washington should not be used as catalyst for a conversation about gun control.
Instead, we should mourn and wait for more information.
Far too often assumptions surrounding the details of tragedies such as the one in Washington are made, and well-intentioned stances fall apart when additional facts come to light.
Here are the facts: Thirty-three Americans are murdered with guns every day, and yesterday’s horrific mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington helped underscore the urgency of the situation. Women in the U.S. are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other developed nations. And in domestic violence situations, the presence of a gun increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent.
Our lax federal gun laws help shape these horrible realities. But in the face of impassioned opposition from the NRA’s Washington leadership, Senators Morse and Giron did the right thing and stood up for a constituency that too often fails to have a voice in the debate on sensible gun laws.
Gun control efforts are largely a culture-war offensive by liberals who dislike the parts of America that own guns and love guns. This meddling motivation shines through in the rhetoric of gun control advocates and in the laws they push.
For many gun owners, the firearm is not merely a tool for the practical purpose of self-defense. Nor is it simply recreational equipment, like a golf club. It’s a cultural signifier, and a totem of a worldview.
There is an opinion abroad in the land that the right to bear arms is unlimited, an absolute right, like the right to vote or the right to a fair trial.
This heartfelt conviction has surfaced lately in state legislation that attempts to nullify federal gun regulations. For the nullifiers, and many others, the broadest possible right to bear arms is purportedly enshrined in the 2nd Amendment and recognized in the Supreme Court case Heller vs. District of Columbia.
And yet, no matter how prevalent or fervently held, the opinion that the Bill of Rights supports and the high court acknowledges an absolute right to gun ownership is just plain wrong.
President Obama’s Congressional critics expressed guarded optimism about an agreement reached with Russia over the weekend to seize and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, even as Mr. Obama hailed the diplomatic effort as a “foundation” that could lead to a political settlement in that country’s civil war.Mr. Obama said in an interview that was broadcast on Sunday that the United States was in a “better position” to prevent President Bashar al-Assad of Syria from using poison gas again because of the deal produced by Secretary of State John Kerry and Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister.
Most experts on chemical weapons say the timetable is unworkable. But ridding Syria of chemical weapons is not the point. The Kerry-Lavrov agreement is simply a Russian delaying tactic on behalf of its Syrian ally—a tactic we’ve seen before.
On May 7, amid reports that chemical weapons had been used in Syria, the Obama administration joined the Russians in announcing plans for an international conference to help end Syria’s civil war. Within two weeks, Moscow was supplying Assad with advanced cruise missiles.
Safety in the NFL
Retired defensive end Pete Koch asked, “What happens when someday, somebody dies playing the most popular sport in American history?”
He asks the wrong question. Why, after more than nine decades of play, has an NFL hit never killed a player?
Collisions have killed athletes in Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, and the Winter X Games. And last year, collisions killed two of the four million competitors in various tackle football leagues. So, it’s not as though the possibility doesn’t exist. It’s just that, for the NFL at least, the reality doesn’t.