Gun-rights advocates are not all violent wackos, but the debate over gun control seems to bring out the worst in them. Youd think asking that high-powered, automatic assault weapons designed only for one thing - to kill humans - be kept off our streets would be a reasonable compromise. But youd think we were asking to sacrifice their first-born with the hysteria of the pro-gun message being beamed around America, as the 1994 assualt weapons ban is about to run out.
These posters are some of the propaganda being circulated in America, using images of children and guns to pound home a message ostensibly about "freedom," "heritage" and "peace."
To me, images of children with guns is simply obscene. No child needs an AK-47 to be safe. In fact, guns kill thousands of kids by accident and through violence, yet the pro-gun lobby pushes a theory that such deaths can be prevented by teaching kids how to use guns. The kids at Columbine high school certainly knew how to use the guns they smuggled into their school and turned on their classmates and then themselves. Americas culture of guns is making the country a more dangerous place, not a safer one.
America needs to preserve the assualt weapons ban. But even it is flawed. Since it was passed 10 years ago, the gun lobby has poked holes in it and expolited loopholes. But "sporterizing" assault weapons with minor cosmetic changes, it has created an America where Kalashnikovs and similar killers are actually MORE available than they were before.
The Oakland Tribune recently quoted Steve Sposato - whose wife, Jody, was among eight people slain in a workplace massacre 11 years ago - noting that the National Rifle Association wants to protect the billion-dollar gun industry while Sposatos 11-year-old daughter is motherless and al-Qaeda advises would-be terrorists that guns are easy to get in America. "Is that the America we want?" asked Sposato.
Its an uphill battle. What you can do right now (if you are an American), is write to your congressperson and encourage him or her to vote to renew the ban, and then to work to strengthen it.