TERRE HAUTE —
NRA’s gun show
goes on and on
There are elephants in the tea room. (Some of the tuskier specimens may even be Boone-and-Crockett caliber.) And no one is taking aim at them. Pray tell, why not? Are they invisible? Are they out of season or simply subjects taboo?
Once again, the National Rifle Association has begun its summer festivities, that is, the herding together of its membership for their traditional march of circular reasoning. (More on that a bit later.) To paraphrase Charlton Heston, former spokesperson for the NRA, “They can have my little pea-shooter when they twist this soda straw from my chilly, tea-stained fingers.”
Nobody wants to take away your pea-shooter. Chuck, you poor, dead, self-aggrandizing, misguided messianic warbler.
As Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president-for-life (and the life beyond) of the NRA, put it following the defeat of a recent effort to ever-so-slightly expand background checks for those wishing to purchase firearms, “This fight will never be over.”
Not even, presumably, after all the combatants are long-since deceased.
I do not see the correlation between concealed-carry laws and the need for a well-regulated militia, but apparently Illinois lawmakers did recently. Perhaps, they were focusing more on political pronouncements than on constitutional proscriptions.
Some will say that the more people who carry guns, the safer we will all be. But when guns are used against other humans to save someone else’s life, it is a one-in-a-million proposition. If a gun is used by one citizen to save another, it makes the news far and wide because it is such a rarity. If, however, a gun is used to murder someone, we rarely hear about it unless there are multiple victims, or it occurs nearby, or if there are freakish or unusual other circumstances surrounding the event.
I am not anti-gun. Furthermore, I support the right to own firearms as outlined in the Second Amendment. I have long believed that the most compelling reason for citizens to have their own weapons is not to defend home and hearth, nor for hunting, nor sport, nor for intimidation of one’s fellow citizens (their most common and exhilarating use today), but because we need to be able to back up our ballot boxes with the actual physical means of removing tyrants, lunatics or conspirators and usurpers of power. The founding fathers acknowledged the importance of this capability (although some of them began to have second thoughts once they realized that they had gained control of the new government and thus stood to be the next ones in line to be overthrown … and these were no nervous Nellies, mind you.)
Times have changed. Today, a small group or even a single person can inflict great harm among the rest of us. The argument is raised that muskets represented cutting-edge technology when the Constitution was adopted. True, but we don’t allow individuals to own tanks, fighter jets, RPGs, landmines, etc., now do we? So, it is established already that there should be limits. The “right to own” is not above logical restrictions.
Ask yourself this: would AR-15s really do the job if it became necessary to upend the government? Have you ever known of a revolution where there was a shortage of small-arms-type weaponry? The arms merchants have long tentacles, and they are always ready to turn a profit.
What’s more, their consciences are small enough, spit-wad-sized, to slip easily through the muzzle of a soda straw.
The hallelujah chorus of the NRA’s declaration of positions is that the only way to stop the use of guns in mass killings is to prevent criminals and people with mental problems from acquiring guns. Yet the same remain steadfastly opposed even to minimalist expansion of background checks. This is logic marching in a circle. How can those with mental problems or criminals be identified without checking into the background of would-be purchasers? That’s just crazy talk. (Friendly little game of Catch-22 anyone?)
Yet, for the benefit of M’sieurs Kite and LaPierre, the show must go on. Let’s get these ducks in a row.
All together now, tail-to-trunk-to-tail-to-trunk, once more around the Big Top!
— Clay Wilkinson
TERRE HAUTE —
NRA’s gun show
EDITORIAL: Get smart with 911
Worst-case scenarios when emergency service are needed are not things people like to think about. But focused attention on details in advance could make a life-changing, even life-saving, difference in the future.
FLASHPOINT: Heading in the wrong direction
A study released last week by the Tax Foundation reported Indiana taxpayers saw one of the sharpest increases in tax burden since 2001. Dig deeper and the numbers are more alarming.
RONN MOTT: They didn’t make it!
The “One and Dones” done went and didn’t! (I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I want those folks down in Kentucky to read it.)
EDITORIAL: Dealing with eroded trust
Our neighbors in Putnam County are understandably concerned, even outraged, over problems in their sheriff’s department. People have a right to expect their chief law-enforcement agency — one of the most important public institutions in any community — to operate professionally and effectively.
Readers’ Forum: April 17, 2014
• A blessing from our young folks
• Confidence in judge candidate
EDITORIAL: Preparing for voting changes
The primary election, during which Hoosiers will traipse to their polling places to select party candidates to fill the ballot for the general election, is now three weeks away.
Readers’ forum: April 16, 2014
• Mott’s rant on global warming
• Salvation through the Indian way
RONN MOTT: Royce Waltman
In recent days the papers have been full of good things about Royce Waltman. Not a lot of puffery, but more like Royce himself… straight, true and right at you.
LIZ CIANCONE: Not much peace since war to end all wars
My jaw dropped the other day when I read that this year, 2014, marks 100 years since the start of World War I. No, you wise guys, I wasn’t there personally.
Readers’ Forum: April 15, 2014
Sound choice for county judge
Giving your car the care it needs
Park restrooms should be open
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (Honors for outstanding women)
Honors for outstanding women
Sprucing up around the wetlands
You can say that again
Reader Poll results
Readers’ Forum: April 14, 2014
Alternatives to ‘injustice’
EDITORIAL: Teaming up to fight the ugliness of graffiti
Graffiti hurts the Terre Haute community. It deflates property values and local pride. It literally paints an image of carelessness on the city.
MARK BENNETT: It’s (Not) So Easy
Arctic air bled into the Wabash Avenue post-hippie-era diner-pub every time the wooden door swung open.
ERIC SCHANSBERG: The 1040 tax form turns 100
The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution brought us the federal income tax in 1913. A year later, the 1040 tax form was born.
Readers’ Forum: April 13, 2014
• An attack of hypocrisy
• New jail not a good idea
• Thinking about the next election
• Being positive a tremendous asset
• Work status a matter of value
FLASHPOINT: Time to fix government
In 1965, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House. That was my first year in Congress, and I remember vividly the moment when Mills came to the Democratic caucus to explain his plans.
Death Notice: April 13, 2014
GUEST EDITORIAL: Despite high court ruling, big money may not guarantee election success
The Supreme Court has taken the predictable next step in the wake of its 2010 Citizens United decision in which it lifted the limit on donations wealthy donors can make to certain political entities.
RONN MOTT: Pondering our planet’s future
I watched a TV show recently and the subject was global warming.
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts for Waltman
When Royce Waltman left Indiana State University as its head basketball coach in 2007, there was a sense of disappointment in the community that covered a broad spectrum.
Readers' Forum: April 11, 2014
• An appeal for organic farming
• Kesler best choice for judge position
RONN MOTT: Bits & Pieces
I don’t know about you, but I get a total sense of helplessness when I realize 239 people died in one airplane crash. And to make it worse, if that is possible, the loved ones left behind can’t close. Maybe this week.
EDITORIAL: Road work season requires motorists’ undivided attention
Spring’s budding flowers, trees and grasses are not the only colorful eye candy popping up on the west-central Indiana landscape. Those orange barrels and pylons common to construction areas are appearing as well.
Readers' Forum: April 10, 2014
• Appreciation for writer’s views
• Amazed by policy on birth control
EDITORIAL: Dangers lurking among us
Hardly a week goes by without multiple stories being published in this newspaper detailing the arrests, court proceedings, convictions or sentencings of individuals involved in sex crimes against children or young teens. It’s a disturbing trend that underscores the ever-present dangers that exist where we may least expect them.
- Readers' Forum: April 9, 2014
RONN MOTT: Basketball and Done
I guess I’m going to have to change my mind about the “One and Done” rule. It would seem the future professionals wearing university uniforms — national runner-up Kentucky is an example — has proven me a fool. Why should I care about the education they are getting, or not getting?
LIZ CIANCONE: Angling for a mate not fond of fishing
While many little girls daydream about the dream man they hope to find, it seems to me that they concentrate on all the wrong things. I can’t discount the appeal of beauty, brains and virtue, but my dream man was one who was not dedicated to fishing.
Readers’ Forum: April 8, 2014
Tracking the trail of thieves
Friendly service at local store
New voice for judicial system
Movie strikes a proper balance
- More Opinion Headlines
- EDITORIAL: Get smart with 911