Skip to comments.Gun control advocates in Westborough call for common ground with opponents
Posted on 10/22/2013 6:31:40 AM PDT by pabianice
Congressman Jim McGovern speaks Oct. 13 at the Forum on Preventing Gun Violence in Westborough. McGovern said that extreme factions in the gun lobby have prevented meaningful gun control legislation.
Congressman Jim McGovern speaks Oct. 13 at the Forum on Preventing Gun Violence in Westborough. McGovern said that extreme factions in the gun lobby have prevented meaningful gun control legislation. Photo/John Swinconeck
By John Swinconeck, Contributing Writer
Westborough Speaking at the Forum on Preventing Gun Violence at Congregation Bnai Shalom in Westborough Oct. 13, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D- 2nd District), said there needs to be a broader coalition of responsible gun owners to lessen gun violence.
McGovern called on gun owners to stand up to extremism by taking a public stand on sensible legislation that doesnt take away their constitutional rights.
The congressman also repeated a call for tighter restrictions on sales at gun shows, mandates for background checks, and bans on certain types of weapons. McGovern decried the failure of the House and Senate to provide stricter gun regulations in wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, blaming pressure from extreme elements of the gun lobby.
It is the extreme elements of these groups that are calling the shots. [National Rifle Association Executive Vice President] Wayne LaPierre, I think, is nuts, and I know people in the NRA who cringe whenever he stands up, McGovern said.
McGovern said moderate congressmen need political coverage against voter and gun lobby backlash to allow them to vote a different way.
People in Washington fall all over themselves to see who is the most extreme, he said, adding: We have a gun lobby that gets nervous when doctors ask patients if theres a gun in the house. Even thats controversial, and thats not even about changing the law.
Our challenge is to reach out to those people who are gun owners in an effort to take responsible steps to prevent gun violence, McGovern said, in order to depolarize the debate over gun control. The mainstream is not represented in Washington and not represented in our laws.
He continued: I do respect the Constitution. Im not saying take your firearm away, but there are responsible constraints on freedom. Were talking about rationality and whats reasonable. In this debate, those two things have been sacrificed.
Whether McGovern can be the man who reaches out to gun control opponents is questionable. McGovern has an F rating from the National Rifle Association, according to VoteSmart.org, and from the Northborough-based Gun Owners Action League (GOAL).
Efforts to reach a GOAL representative for comment were unsuccessful.
My plea here is we need to figure out a way to broaden our coalition, to start bringing in people who have a differing opinion but have a lot in common with us, McGovern said.
Dr. Michael P. Hirsch, a pediatric specialist at UMass Memorial in Worcester and founder of that citys Goods for Guns firearm buy-back program, also spoke at the forum. He began the program in 2000 to allow firearm owners the opportunity to exchange their weapon for gift certificates. Since then, the buyback, held every December, has collected more than 2,000 firearms and distributed more than 750 trigger locks, according to UMass Medical Centers website.
Hirsch said his inspiration comes in part from the memory of a colleague who was shot and killed in 1981. Since then, however, Hirsch said that American society has become almost immune to news of mass shootings such as the Newtown Massacre and the recent shooting at the Washington shipyard.
Hirsch praised the city of Worcester for having the lowest rates of penetrating trauma injuries per capita of any Massachusetts city. He attributed Worcesters success to what he called an extremely progressive police department that is very selective on who gets a gun permit.
Hirsch also added that he had nothing but respect for responsible gun owners, adding that gun ownership is intrinsic to Americas pioneer heritage. However, he decried the level of unsecured firearms that exist.
David Hemenway, a professor of Health Policy and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, said that attitudes social norms must change in order for gun violence to abate. He used Americas changing attitude over the decades toward automobile safety as a comparison. Roads and vehicles have been made safer to help compensate for driver error. Meanwhile, pressures against drunk drivers increased through grassroots organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Thirty years ago, drunk driving was considered OK, Hemenway said. Then we had a real social movement.
Hemenway also criticized the U.S. for having the most permissive and weakest gun laws in any democratized industrial country.
Many who spoke at the forum, like Hirsch, had their lives touched by gun violence. Ilyse Levine-Kanji, chair of the Westborough School Committee, said she lost her grandfather in 1977, and her mentor, Jack Berman, in the infamous 101 California Street shooting in 1993.
The gun lobby is vocal, but the majority want to support reasonable gun safety legislation, said Levine-Kanji.
Bnai Shaloms Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz said that there was a moral and ethical obligation to speak up and act regarding gun violence.
Laws do not work.
I guess he didn’t get the Chicago Memo.
There is no common ground with totalitarian control fanatics.
If they don’t like guns, nobody is forcing them to buy them, unlike 0bunga-care.
The title should say, “Yids Promote Gun Control and Totalitarianism.”
I was sort of shocked a couple of weeks back when the Tacoma Tribune actually had an editorial basically saying that the problem wasn't guns, but mental cases that should be locked up out walking around off their meds, and that we needed to do more on the mental health aspect.
His comparison to drunk drivers is nonsense.
This social movement he’s talking about is against people that drink excessively and then endanger lives by driving.
You cannot compare this to gun owners to stay within the law and endanger no one’s life except the criminal.
or will beat = or we will beat
Given the plain wording of the 2nd Amendment, extreme gun lobbying would be demanding that illegal alien gangs and Somali Islamists should be given poison gas and nerve agents by a program of government grants and training in their use.
Time to compromise. At least, for them it’s time. I’m done giving ground for no real gain.
Here’s my stance in a nutshell, as penned by one of my favorite Authors...
“Every man, woman, and responsible child has a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon — handgun, shotgun, rifle, machinegun, anything — any time, anywhere, without asking anyone’s permission.
— L. Neil Smith, The Atlanta Declaration “
Anything that detracts from that is instantly off the table as far as I’m concerned.
OK,let's not go overboard here.Just a few months ago I attended a talk at a suburban Boston synagogue given by Mark Steyn.Yes,*that* Mark Steyn...and he was,BTW,outstanding.Even better than when he fills in for Rush.Before he spoke the congregation's Rabbi spoke and he,too,was outstanding.He's clearly a friend of ours.That synagogue,IIRC,books many conservative writers,commentators and pundits to speak so...there are always exceptions.
Every man, woman, and responsible child has a ...Constitutional right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon handgun, shotgun, rifle, machinegun, anything any time, anywhere, without asking anyones permission.”
The constitution says “arms”, not semi-automatic rifles, or pistols, so plainly, if you believe we have a constitutional right to “bear arms” then you are correct that there is no constitutional limitation as to what we should be able to possess and use. I don’t know why the NRA and other supporters of the Second Amendment have allowed the debate to be merely about the rights to own assault weapons and the like. They should know better.
Arms. Armaments. Essentially, anything that you could use as a weapon for the purpose of defense of yourself, your family, your property, or your Nation.
So yes, everything up to and including multi-billion dollar Destroyers and Aircraft carriers.
If you can afford to buy it on your own, store it safely without infringing on your Neighbors equal Rights to their property, and can use it without harming anyone other than your attacker? Go for it.
Before folks say, “Is this guy nuts? Why would we let people own nukes?” I can think of any number of things civilians could do with privately owned nukes. From asteroid mining to nuclear propulsion devices currently outlawed by our Federal government.
You ****ing communists get this and get this good... OUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS ARE UNALIENABLE AND WE WILL NOT NEGOTIATE ANY INFRINGEMENT!
Exactly what “law” will the non-law-abiding be subject to, Mister Compromise?
You used that word... “unalienable”...
I think the left needs to understand what that means.
It means we can’t give it away even if we wanted to. It’s inherent.
Any compromise with evil is a loss for good.
I will not compromise...there is no “common ground” with evil.
“meaningful gun control legislation” is already on the books!!
YOU are not ENFORCING THE LAWS WE HAVE!!
PUT THE CRIMINALS IN JAIL!!!!
THAT is all that needs to change to control gun violence!!!!
Actually we are already standing on common ground.
It’s called the Constitution although they seem to
think it’s just something to wipe your feet on.
More snake oil. “Common ground” to a democrat means he gets his way on everything in a complete capitulation from the opponents, sort of like a Hanoi John McCain “negotiation.”
For some reason, this guy shaking his fists reminds me of some petty communist agitator speechifying in front of a tiny rabble of his true-believer followers. All he does is just preach ritual idealism, promote ideas that have never worked, and tell his followers to recruit more followers.
He is not even important enough for the police to infiltrate his little coven.
Yes indeed... it is a right that comes from GOD and not government!
Oh, I know that there are (at least a few) conservative synagogues and Jews out there. My neighbor "next house down" and his wife are observant Jewish, and he goes out target shooting on a regular schedule....but he is retired military.
I just thought the juxtaposition of "McGovern" with a Jewish synagogue about gun grabbing (despite what McGovern says) was kind of accidentally ironic.
I have "never" understood the antipathy that some American Jews have for firearms ownership. You would think that if ANY ethnic group would "get it" about gun ownership and tyranny prevention, that the Jews would, given their Holocaust experience.
We should find common ground. Let’s start with which ineffective gun laws the leftists are ready to repeal. There are hundreds of federal and state gun laws, few if any of which can be defended in any logical manner. Which should we repeal at the start? I would suggest the NFA restrictions on silencers (there for revenue only), and on SBR and sawed-off shotguns.
Somehow, I don’t think the leftists are really looking for common ground. What they want is another partial surrender, where we go halfway to their current public goal. Then we can repeat the process every few years as they move the goalposts.
I think you are right on target.