Suspicious and “intransigent” NRA officials wouldn’t meet with Craig Whitney about his book, but he’s got some things to say that they might want to hear. In Living with Guns, Whitney writes that (liberals’ views notwithstanding), “what the gun rights activists say is mostly true—guns don’t kill people; people do.”
Talking to Alex Wagner on Friday, Whitney explained that, to him, the object of the gun control conversation shouldn’t be depriving people of firearms, but making it safe for people to have guns. Former DNC Communications Director Karen Finney agreed:
Gun owners would favor responsible measures because if you’re a responsible gun owner you don’t want crazy people out there shooting anyone either. It doesn’t help anybody.
The Obama administration has been quiet on the issue. Author Josh McInerney pointed out that President Obama has “basically done nothing” on gun control—and since the Democrats seem “afraid” to take on this issue, it’s unclear where the push for reform will come from.
Could city mayors take the lead? In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has frequently said that stronger gun laws are needed on a state and national level. And while Whitney doesn’t necessarily agree with the specific policies that Bloomberg has put in place, at least the mayor “doesn’t seem to show any cowardice when it comes to challenging the NRA.”
“We need to have a discussion between the two sides: the people who fear gun violence and support stronger gun control, and the people like the NRA who just resist all attempts to control weapons. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney did agree on something in their last debate, which was when Obama said ‘you have to go deeper and see if you can get into the communities where gun violence happens.’”