Let’s Ban Pressure Cookers
The Associated Press reported this week that the two brothers who set off the deadly Boston Marathon bombs and later engaged in a full scale shoot-out with authorities (after killing an M.I.T. security guard execution style while he sat in his patrol car) did not have permits for their weapons.
Color me gobsmacked.
Even less surprising is that this all happened in Massachusetts, a state that takes significant pride in having the toughest gun laws in the country. Why, it’s almost as if the brothers Tsarnaev – highly educated individuals whose criminal acts included murder, setting off high-powered explosive devices with the intent to kill and/or maim, carjacking and other felonies – had absolutely no respect for gun laws and city/state regulations.
Who’d a-thunk it? If only the Boston City Council had the foresight to ban the placement of improvised explosive devices near the finish line of marathons.
As the two domestic terrorists were being hunted throughout the city of Boston, I couldn’t help but wonder how many decent, law-abiding Bostonians would have given their Red Sox season tickets to have had an AR-15 with a 30-round magazine at home. Ah, but no. Law-abiding citizens, by their very nature, abide by laws. Whether or not said laws are dangerous, harmful, misguided, ineffective or just plain foolish. At least somebody did something and passed a law.
Here’s hoping that the civic sentinels of Boston will now quickly vote to ban backpacks and pressure cookers because, well, because somebody should do something to make sure this never happens again.
Closer to home, I wonder if Glendale’s ever-vigilant council members realize that just anybody can walk right into Bed, Bath & Beyond, or Best Buy, or Costco for heaven’s sake, and buy themselves a potentially lethal pressure cooker. I mean, how can we be certain that that six-quart, stainless steel Presto just bought by the grandmotherly lady will be used to make ham hocks and beans and not a homemade bomb? After buying a pressure cooker, the same person could just mosey on over to Sport Chalet and willy nilly, without anyone checking his motives, purchase a backpack. Think of it, council members: this could happen today, right here in Glendale, without anyone ever having to submit to even a cursory background check. For the love of Pete. Somebody do something!
Okay, I’m being a sarcastic jerk. Just a little. But the week after my column was published ridiculing the Glendale City Council members who voted to approve a ban on gun shows (Shooting Down City Council Decision, CV Weekly, March 21, 2013) despite not a single shred of evidence connecting the long-held, popular events to any crimes – one dear reader wrote to this paper decrying my column. This person disagreed fervently with my mockery of “do something” politicians and chastised me for offering no suggestions of my own for reducing gun violence in our country.
Okay, sir, since you asked, here’s where I would start: Rather than further infringements on the rights of law abiding citizens, let’s begin a serious, nationwide conversation about how to better recognize and treat mentally disturbed people in our society. Let’s also start talking honestly about the hundreds of thousands of young boys growing up without fathers in their lives. Let’s dialogue about the frightening number of desensitizing, ultra-violent video games that are sold to and used habitually by children and young adults. Let’s shed light on the despicable culture of anti-Americanism that permeates American high schools and universities. And let’s talk at length about the effects of violence-saturated films and TV shows which feature bombings, decapitations, torture, rape, mutilation and every imaginable depravity while making very rich people of those who produce and star in this trash – many of whom then shamelessly and sanctimoniously lecture the great unwashed masses about the need for more gun control.
Let’s start with these “somethings” and see what happens.
I’ll see you ’round town.