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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What are you hiding?

Career criminologist Kerry Healey has scored the endorsement of the Gun Owners Action League, coming in with a 95 percent rating on their survey of issues of importance to gun owners. Or so both parties want you to believe.

It seem proponents of the Second Amendment aren't too keen on certain aspects of the First Amendment. Or maybe they think they are exercising those rights by refusing to release the survey.

Or maybe they don't want people to know that some portions of the questionnaire would raise serious concerns about Healey's claim to be a better crime fighter than Deval Patrick.

The Globe reports the league's questionnaire asks candidates if they support or oppose creating a system for ballistic fingerprinting, easing restrictions on granting firearm licenses to those with police records, and curbing the power of local police chiefs to deny permits to carry guns.

One of the questions, asking whether any gun should be banned, relates to whether there should be a ban on assault weapons and high-powered handguns that fire rounds police say can pierce bulletproof vests worn by officers.

<>Paul Birks -- vice president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers which has endorsed Democrat Deval Patrick -- told the Globe his Boston-based, nationwide union respects the right of gun ownership, but said there are "common-sense limits."

"Sportsmen don't hunt game with assault rifles that spray-fire armor-piercing bullets," Birks said. "It's that simple. I don't know how any law enforcement officer could support a candidate who, like Kerry Healey, accepts the endorsement of a gun group that doesn't recognize the need for some common-sense limits."

Of course many gun owners live in the 128-495 and beyond belt that has supplied the winning margin for recent GOP gubernatorial candidates. The same people who Healey is appealing to with her slash and burn commercials depicting Patrick as a low life lawyer who defends criminals.

The same people who moved out of the cities where crime is rampant because of inadequate state and federal aid for policing. The same people who keep guns in their homes for "protection" caused by pandering politicians.

Obviously I'm not a big fan of guns. I have no problem with hunting for sport (even when shooters aren't as dead-eyed as Darth Cheney). I also have no problem with weapons for legitimate protection purposes.

And to prove I'm not a complete knee-jerk liberal, I also have problems with a Hollywood that glorifies crime, guns and violence -- even in entertaining flicks like "The Departed."

But I do have a problem with politicians ginning up irrational fears about crime among people who won't taste what real crime is like.

No one disagrees with the enforcing the rights of legitimate gun owners. What we do have concerns about is the irrational proliferation of weapons whose only purposes are to kill and maim. You don't hunt deer with AK-47s or MAC-10s, nor do you need to keep one under your pillow to protect against the prowler or the rapist.

So Kerry, why don't you release the survey and let people see what you believe in. You haven't told us anything yet -- isn't it time to start?


Blogger Ryan Adams said...

One correction: regardless of whether you support gun ownership or not, the Constitution doesn't gaurentee people the right to own guns. It gaurantees the right of states to keep militias. This isn't my opinion of the Constitution, it comes from previous Supreme Court cases.

I'm not saying we should ban all guns, I'm just correcting you where you are wrong.

October 17, 2006 9:41 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

You are, of course, correct. It's been the loophole driing this insidious devate for decades. That's why I believe the answer truly is to regulate bullets. Thanks

October 18, 2006 7:49 PM  

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