I was recently outraged at the comments made by right wing radio host Bob Davis, who, in the days leading up to the ill-fated vote for universal background checks for gun purchases, exclaimed that the victims of gun violence, specifically in Newtown, CT, should “go to hell.”
Davis claimed that the victims of gun violence have no right to demand reform because it would infringe on his liberties- something he called “a greater tragedy than [their] loss.” How does Davis even begin to justify that statement? How does Davis arrive at the idea that a simple background check, already required everywhere except gun shows, where the law is often snubbed in favor of a quick sale, is in any way an infringement of his liberties more tragic than the death of an innocent first-grader? I look at my own first-grader and wonder how anyone could even think that such innocence lost could ever be accepted as just a price of liberty. If that is the price of our freedoms, the price is too high.
Does Davis really believe that he’s on the right side of history here? I find it sickening that the same people who complain about the need to eschew any form of immigration reform in favor of enforcing the laws already on the books are the same people who complain about simply enforcing the laws already in place regarding gun purchases. How do you reconcile the paradox here? How is it even fathomable that simply extending background checks to cover all gun purchases is somehow such an infringement on liberty to in any way compare it to the loss of not just one, or two, or three, but twenty first-graders, not to mention the teachers and faculty who lost their life?
Many people I know would argue that background checks won’t stop every shooting, so why bother? And they are right. It won’t stop them all. But putting brakes on a car doesn’t stop every accident. Does that mean we should stop putting brakes on our cars? How about fire alarms? They don’t stop a fire, so why bother with them? Common sense, that’s why. Because it is common sense to take preventative measures. Even my first-grader can tell you that.
That same argument is the very reason why it is so important for us to do more than simply close the gun show loophole. That is just the first step. The fact that such a small, yet fiercely vociferous minority of gun advocates, such as Bob Davis, has been able to stop the will of a majority of Americans speaks loudly about the grip they have on our elected officials.
Bob Davis, if you really want to stand in front of a parent who has lost their child to gun violence and tell to them to “go to hell,” you’d better hope they aren’t a gun owner, too.