My Quest for Commonsense Gun Laws

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page has a question for politicians who claim to want sensible gun legislation: What are you waiting for?

Posted:
 
gun_laws_072512_400jrw
Thinkstock

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page has a question for politicians who claim to want sensible gun legislation: What are you waiting for?

In the wake of the Colorado catastrophe, in which a maniac shooter killed at least a dozen people in a theater showing the latest Batman movie, everyone seems to be calling for "common-sense" gun laws. Unfortunately it's hard to tell whose sense is common enough these days.

The polls are often too polarized to be of much help. The venerable Gallup poll, for example, finds that while overall violent crimes declined nationwide beginning in the mid-1990s, the percentage of Americans who favor "more strict" laws governing firearms sales actually fell —from 78 percent in 1990 to 44 percent in 2010.

Does that mean Americans don't want any more gun-control laws or that they haven't heard of any they think will work? Phrases like "gun bans," "gun control" and "stricter laws" don't tell us very much unless we also say what those stricter laws would do.

I, for one, favor common-sense gun laws, as President Barack Obama and activists like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence call them, even though this president's record on gun control is a bit blurry on whose common sense he's talking about.

Read Clarence Page's entire piece at the Chicago Tribune.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. 

The Root 100 People's Choice Awards  
Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM