It was truly a sight to behold. Please watch this very excellent clip of Lawrence O'Donnell shoving Rep. Trent Franks into a very tight corner on gun control. Ammunition control, actually.
My favorite exchange comes toward the end. Franks keeps trying to pivot to the old "people kill people; guns don't" when O'Donnell is hammering on the extended clips and how irresponsible it was of Congress to allow their ban to expire. Franks, thinking he has O'Donnell cornered, asks him whether he blames the shooter or the gun.
Lawrence's response: "I blame the shooter for the first 10 bullets. I blame the law for the next 21."
Let's not blame the guns. Let's blame the people who have them instead. I'm good with that. People are constitutionally guaranteed the right to own the gun, and who am I to stop them from that? They're not promised the right to own the ammunition, though, and there's not a damn thing in the Constitution about high-capacity clips and assault rifles. I have lost a family member to gun violence. Meaningless, preventable, wanton gun violence. Anything I can do to minimize that possibility in today's society is worth doing, as far as I'm concerned. But above all, let's not blame the guns.
This is what drives me crazy. Limiting ammunition clips isn't gun control. Charging a fortune for ammunition isn't gun control. If they're going to own guns, fine, but when they want to shove that piece into the gun that kills twice as many folks in half the time, they should have to pay for it. Handsomely.
How about mandatory ammunition insurance? Or mandatory gun insurance? Own a gun; be required to own a liability policy to cover loss of life and limb if it's irresponsibly used.
The other exchange that my neighbors probably heard because I might have actually yelled at the TV at the time was where Franks once again argues for "another competent person with a gun" as foil for Loughner's mayhem. He frames it as law enforcement this time, but O'Donnell quickly retires that canard too, reminding Franks that most shots fired by police officers miss.
Remember, there was a guy on the scene with a gun who very nearly shot the wrong guy. Had he not been 'responsible' enough to actually stop and think before squeezing that trigger, the tragedy could have been compounded by a factor of two. This, however, is not something Rep. Trent Franks is concerned with.
I see glimmers of people trying to tiptoe around the gun control debate in the hopes of accomplishing some small progress toward not encouraging us to blow holes through our fellow man. It's such a hot button that it's almost political suicide to go there, which is really too bad. You'd think that we could at least find common ground on a ban of things previously banned, right?