Fight of the Century:
Will Obama Limit Gun Access?
By Marek Ostrowski
Translated By Michał Bolek
17 January 2013
Edited by Mary Young
Poland - Polityka - Original Article (Polish)
President Obama is announcing the biggest restriction on gun access of the last quarter of a century.
A month after the tragedy in the elementary school in Newtown, President Barack Obama, surrounded by children, presented a set of means that are supposed to put an end to shootings in the country. He highlighted the fact that 900 people were killed in America by guns this month. Consequently, the automatic firearm is to be banned, the capacity of cartridges reduced and, above all, a common evaluation of the psychological predispositions gun purchasers will be implemented in the country. Though standards of this kind seem obvious and in accordance with common sense to us in Europe, the powerful shooting lobby, the NRA, has vowed decisive opposition, warning that it’s ready for “the fight of the century.”
In fact, there is no theatrical exaggeration in the expression “fight of the century,” because the NRA is deaf to all arguments, including this one: As it was calculated some time ago, that the number of people killed as a result of murders, suicides and accidents in the U.S. is 12 times higher than in the 25 other highly developed countries altogether!
How can it be explained? Americans who are attached to the gun believe that this is their constitutional right and that it is of the same rank as freedom of speech. Indeed, the Second Amendment to the Constitution gives people the right to possess and carry a gun — but only in the context of organized, civil militia. The “shooters” believe that this is the individual’s right. It’s difficult to discuss. Secondly, honest and decent citizens will follow the bans, but not those who are part of the underworld, where one acquires guns without any hindrance and nobody asks for permission. As a result, those honest and decent citizens will be even more defenseless against the criminals.
Who knows; perhaps it is the culture of violence that is most dangerous of all. It’s telling that for years a lobby in Congress has obstructed academic research into the supposed connections between real-life violence and the violence shown on TV and in video games. Obama is going to support such research. It was about 10 years ago that respected psychologist, Ewa Woydyllo, anxious about the common and open celebration of violence in the mass media, proposed a brainstorm among social authorities, politicians, educators and artists as well as a three-year moratorium on showing violence. It’s difficult to negate the positive result that such an experiment would have. Nobody responded to this appeal. I’m afraid that Obama won’t be more successful.
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