Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Republican candidates refuse to take aim at US gun laws

AS REPUBLICAN presidential candidates campaigned around Wisconsin yesterday morning, a Korean man shot dead seven fellow university classmates at a religious Californian college.

But Rick Santorum, the conservative alternative to front-runner Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries, said it was not cause to reconsider US gun laws.  "This is not a firearms issue, it is a human issue," he told CNN's Piers Morgan.

He said the right to bear arms was a crucial right for Americans, and one that could allow people to protect themselves should they find themselves caught in a mass shooting.

Last night, neither the candidates nor the President, Barack Obama, had made an official statement on the shooting.

Earlier in the day Mr Santorum boasted to supporters at a bowling alley in the town of Menasha that he enjoyed an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. (The powerful gun lobby group ranks all politicians.)

He criticised Mr Romney for once supporting some gun control regulation in Massachusetts, where he was governor.

Mr Santorum has made his support of the liberal gun laws a key part of his campaign. Last week, at a gun club in Louisiana, Mr Santorum took time to fire a few rounds from a 1911 colt when a supporter yelled out "pretend it's Obama", prompting a brief Secret Service investigation.

For his part, yesterday Mr Romney maintained his tactic of attacking Mr Obama rather than Mr Santorum, casting himself as the presumptive candidate.

The availability of handguns did not attract political attention even as the controversy over the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by a self-proclaimed neighbourhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, threatened to overwhelm the campaign last month. Instead, most pundits focused on the so-called "stand your ground" law Mr Zimmerman is expected to rely on should he be charged over the shooting.


AL:  Robbery victim turns tables on suspect:  "Mobile police say a robbery suspect got an unexpected surprise when his intended victim started shooting at him.  It happened around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday on Chinquapin Street in Mobile. When it was all over, the suspect was the one who ended up in the hospital. Police said an armed suspect approached the intended victim and demanded his property. The robbery suspect may have thought the victim was reaching for his wallet when, in fact, he was going after his own gun.   The suspect fled and then fired back. The intended victim wasn't hit, but a bullet did flatten one of the tires on his car.  Police said they were called to Mobile Infirmary a short time later when a man showed up with a gunshot wound to the leg. Police said he'll remain under police guard until he's released from the hospital. Then he'll be charged with robbery."

IL: Slaying may have been self-defense:  "Williams opened fire on Larry Watts, 23, and Casnova P. Hobbs, 28, as they sat in a vehicle about 11 p.m. Saturday in the 1900 block of West Garden Street. In self-defense, one of the two men returned fire, striking Williams multiple times, once in the head, Brady said. 'That's a fair way to summarize it,' Brady said. 'You have the man who was killed opening fire on the two occupants of the vehicle, and one of those men shot back and killed (Williams).'"

MA: Judge rules immigrant gun law unconstitutional:  "A federal judge has ruled that a state law barring legal immigrants from possessing handguns and large-capacity weapons is unconstitutional .... 'This case presents the question of whether lawful permanent resident aliens are among 'the people' for whom the Second Amendment the United States Constitution provides a right to bear arms,' U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock wrote in his decision. 'I conclude they are.' Under state law, legal immigrants can possess rifles and shotguns but not handguns or large-capacity weapons"

1 comment:

john said...

I find it interesting that the Mitt Romney was quoted as saying "This is not a firearms issue, it is a human issue." This is an interesting point to make. Our second amendment rights are secure for a reason, and generally when shootings occur it’s not necessarily due to the accessibility to firearms. However, it is more so as a result of the shooters mental state. Incidents like the 2011 shooting in Tucson, the mental state of the shooter has come into question. Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona, has acknowledged this issue and the need for metal health services to be recognized as a bigger issue. (