The latest Gallup poll shows that support for tighter gun control laws has diminished since the Newtown, Conn., massacre in 2012 from 58 percent to 49 percent. Thirty-seven percent of the citizenry think we should continue operating under present laws and 13 percent believe they should be even less stringent. Only 25 percent of the whole believe we should ban guns while 75 percent believe we should allow them full range.
Most Democrats feel we should extend control of gun sales and usage and most Republicans feel we should not. As you all should know by now, I am for stricter gun control and have written about it several times, but realizing that the armament manufacturers and the National Rifle Association have so corralled the United States Congress and the Supreme Court to vote matters their way that I have just about given up the ghost.
Until recently, that is. My wife is in e-mail contact with a close friend who recently wrote her in one of their exchanges the following:
"Don't tell Milt but I think he has used up gun control."
Since my wife and I keep no secrets from each other, she told Milt. Even if we lived in Vegas, she would tell Milt. And vice versa.
I brooded about three days on this before turning my AOL to news one morning and found the three following headlines on one page:
"Police Respond to Shooting at Nevada Middle School."
"Three People Shot at Nevada Nightclub."
"Two Dead After Michigan Senior Center Shooting."
So I returned to reading The Gun Report in The New York Times and among the plethora of listings were the following:
"A 14-year-old girl was among three people shot in a car in New Orleans Wednesday night. A 31-year-old man died from his wounds and a 30-year-old man is in critical condition. Witnesses said the suspects sped away from the scene."
"Two children were hospitalized after a student fired a police rifle during an officer's drug-awareness presentation at an elementary school in Chino, Calif. A student pulled the trigger on an AR-15 mounted on a police motorcycle that was on display. The wounded children were struck by metal debris."
"Two people were shot to death in a home outside Roseburg, Ore., Tuesday night. The suspect was described as a man in his 30s and he is being sought."
Slate Magazine has a regular piece labeled "Gun-death tracker," and the magazine publishes the figures in each issue. The latest estimate was that 9,757 people have been killed by gun violence since the Newton, Conn., massacre on Dec. 14, 2012.
Our nation was horrified by Newtown and the day after it happened people would have voted without hesitation for some control to be put on the ownership of guns. But the sympathy turned to ennui within a week's time. Some of the parents who lost children went on the stump to push stricter gun controls. Most people listened sympathetically but there were also hecklers in the audience who booed and held up signs praising the Second Amendment and the so-called rights of American gun owners.
The Newtown massacre gave this country something to think about but only for a day or two. In that time the gun pushers had unleashed their propaganda and the cause was lost.
When you hear about tragedy locally, it gives you pause. But when you read about killings in Chino, Calif., or Roseberg, Ore., you just shake your head and walk away. But when it happens closer to home, the shock remains.
No, Milton Bass has not "used up gun control." There have to be some voices continually heard in the maelstrom.
Milton Bass is a regular Eagle contributor.