Opinion: NRA, the terrorists’ best friend

STEVE SANDERS

STEVE SANDERS

By Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Most of the death and destruction that was visited on Paris last week by terrorists was committed with the same deadly assault weapons that have been used right here by mass killers in movie theaters, malls and even elementary schools. James Holmes murdered twelve people in a Colorado movie theater not long ago. If there had been three of him, like at the Bataclan Concert Hall in Paris, the death toll would have been in the scores. And if there had been a team of killers at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown Connecticut or the church in Charleston, South Carolina, the carnage would have been even worse.

The guns used in Paris and here in American cities, towns and villages are protected and fiercely defended by the National Rifle Association. In turn our representatives in Congress have done absolutely nothing to keep those weapons out of the hands of, well, almost anyone. Their silence is deafening. These guns are designed for the battlefield to kill as many enemy combatants as quickly as possible, and they do. Can you imagine the hue and cry by our politicians if those slaughters had been committed by someone named Mustafa with a Muslim background and jihad as his motivation? Candidates for President would be falling over each other with proposals to keep such weapons out of the hands of “those people.”

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Politics & Tidbits: Nine lives

Steven Sanders

Steven Sanders

By Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

In previous columns I wrote that massacres with guns would continue until the U.S. Congress found the courage and intelligence to enact meaningful gun ownership restrictions.

So who can be surprised that a college campus in Oregon was yet the latest site of a mass murder?

The person who committed that heinous crime last week did so with legally purchased weapons. This time nine lives were lost to another deranged gunman. Nine more young people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nine families shattered, nine more funerals and countless more expressions of sorrow and sympathy from our leaders in Congress… and then nothing more, just a little road bump in the life of Congress.

It seems that the gun zealots and the misguided Second Amendment purists have the proverbial “nine lives.” Nothing seems to be horrific enough to kill off their ambitions to see even more guns proliferate our streets and communities and with no regulations.

If they were not moved to action three years ago when twenty toddlers were gunned down at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, what hope is there that this latest tragedy or the next one or the one after that will cause a change of heart or spur our weak-kneed Congress to finally act?

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