President is Wrong on Gun Control
By Rick Castaldo
Bill Clinton once again used the Columbine
tragedy as a prop in pushing his big government, liberal agenda. To make matters
much worse, he claimed to be acting in the name of my family. You see, my son is
in a wheelchair because of Columbine. But our family doesn't believe that
more gun control is the right answer.
In what was thankfully his last state of the
Union speech, the President asked for still more gun control. He offered a
typical "big government" solution on how to cut crime, asking honest
Americans to fill out more forms, pay more money, and get another license. How
much bigger would he make the BATF so that it could administrator a new
licensing law? How many more of our tax dollars would disappear in fees and
licensing costs? Would his minions create a new federal agency that further
intrudes into law-abiding citizen's lives?
Once again the President has shamefully
demonstrated that he does not understand the problem. It's the criminals,
Selected for special attention during the
Clinton speech was Tom Mauser, who lost his son Daniel at Columbine. Mr. Clinton
spoke about Mr. Mauser, who has dedicated himself to removing guns from
the streets. Mr. Clinton, disingenuous as usual, spun a good yarn about how
Columbine has galvanized people like Mr. Mauser to unite and work to reduce
crime. Mr. Clinton would have us believe that everyone affected by Columbine
feels more gun control is the answer.
Although working to accomplish that is
certainly Mr. Mauser's right, Bill Clinton is using him as a pawn, as he has
done with so many others during his political career. Passing more laws and
instituting more regulation will not force criminals to change their behavior.
Putting them in prison will.
Does the President really believe that
criminals are going take the time to get owners licenses? Does the president
believe criminals are worried about consequences from the federal government?
Does the president believe in anything other than big brother running our lives?
Will he fire Janet Reno if she doesn't prosecute the new laws? What will be the
fine for using a handgun when you have no license, Community service?
After my son Richard was injured at Columbine,
I did a little of my own research. I found that there were literally thousands
of laws regarding guns, some twenty thousand, both Federal and State. The two
murderers at Columbine broke at least seventeen (maybe more) different laws.
Richard was asked early on about how he felt
about guns and if America needed more laws. His response: a few more laws
wouldn't have made any difference at Columbine.
I found that of some 6,000 students who
had brought guns to school, a federal crime, the Clinton justice department
prosecuted 13. Of the thousands of felons who violated the Brady Bill, Ms. Reno
found time to prosecute only a few. I wonder how many of these felons bought
their guns illegally when Ms. Reno let them walk. I wonder how many innocent
lives they impacted.
I'm sure that if Mr. Clinton gets the license
law through Congress, she'll do a better job. Right.
My son and I both believe that if criminals
received swift prosecution followed by meaningful punishment, crime would drop
in this country.
It was interesting to note that Clinton took
credit for dropping crime rates in the U.S. As shameful as it is, the
federal government has done nothing to contribute to this trend. I give credit
to a law and order agenda by many of the Governors and Mayors recently elected,
replacing the failed, big government liberals. A few of the biggest cities
in America account for the huge decrease in crime. New York City alone accounted
for a huge fraction of the decline in violent crime in this country.
Of course that was after a liberal was replaced
with a mayor who put criminals in jail. It is no surprise that it has been
accomplished by enforcing the law. It is also no surprise that it isn't Clinton
clones who are doing it.
Criminals will never change their behavior
until our leaders change theirs. Passing more gun laws in this country won't
help reduce crime.
Where was the rush to outlaw fertilizer and
diesel fuel following the Oklahoma City bombing? If politicians really care
about the Columbine victims and all the suffering they have endured, they should
stop using us to score cheap political points. Mr. Clinton obviously doesn't
feel my family's pain.
Richard Castaldo is the father of a student
who was shot at Columbine, and must now use a wheelchair. He wrote
this article for the Independence Institute, a civil liberties think tank in