Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: Don’t expect ‘common sense’ to prevail

By • May 30, 2022

The following Op-Ed was submitted by Chuck Malloy. Note: Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

Let’s face it, nothing significant is going to happen with curbing gun violence as long as the issue revolves around politics. For the foreseeable future, politics will remain as the focal point.

And even if (by some miracle) politicians do get together on a “common sense” resolution or two, I don’t know how Congress or any other body can legislate against “crazy.” Passing layers of new laws on top of the thousands of layers of laws that are on the books won’t do it. And neither will banning the sales of the AR-15 and other weapons.

Crazy people will find a way to pass screening, no matter how sophisticated it is, and get their weapons of choice. Crazy people are not deterred by the likelihood of being killed after a shooting spree.

I can understand President Biden’s outrage about the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. But instead of projecting calm and uniting the country, as presidents have been known to do, Biden poured gasoline on the fire. His call to action was to stand up to the gun lobby and (without saying it directly) those awful Republicans who accept campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association.

A few days later, the NRA holds its annual meeting in Houston where the likes of Sen. Ted Cruz talked about how those daffy left-wing Democrats were trying to disarm law-abiding Americans. The headline speaker at the conference was none other than former President Trump.

So with this backdrop, don’t expect Congress to come up with common sense gun laws, or common sense anything for that matter.

In Idaho, gun control suddenly has become a front-burner issue for Democratic congressional candidates – Kaylee Peterson of Eagle and Wendy Norman of Rigby. Terry Gilbert, who is running against Republican Debbie Critchfield, is promoting a “School Children’s Right to Life” law.

Traditionally, running against the NRA and gun-happy Republicans is a losing proposition for Democrats. But in this state, Democrats have little to lose by bringing up the issue. They hope that, in addition to major policy differences with Republicans, that people will be fed up with school shootings. After all, if they can happen in Texas, then Idaho is not immune.

Gilbert says that, if elected, he will propose a law that prohibits those under 21 from buying assault weapons or ammunition for such weapons. “I chose 21 because the brain is still forming until then, especially in young men. Indeed, most of the mass shooters have been males with immature brains,” he said in a news release.

Peterson offers stern criticisms to Idaho’s congressional delegation and, specifically, the Republican she’s challenging — First District Congressman Russ Fulcher. “It is difficult to look at our representatives’ and senators’ lack of action and find any reasonable explanation. We may not agree on how exactly to solve this problem, but apathy is unacceptable. To do nothing is unacceptable.”

She says leaders such as Fulcher should be held accountable “for their inability to sit at the table, reach across the aisle and find a solution that saves the lives of our children.”

Norman, a 25-year teacher, slams Second District Congressman Mike Simpson for “kowtowing” to the gun lobby. “The gun lobby likes to say that restrictions like the 1994 assault weapons ban didn’t work, but it did. Gun massacres of six or more decreased by 37 percent for the decade the ban was active, then shot up to 183 percent during the decade following its expiration.”

She calls for enacting “sane” gun laws.

Of course, there is considerable dispute over the definition of “sane.” What seems to be perfectly reasonable for Democrats is seen by Republicans as attempts to dismantle the Second Amendment. And the debates go far beyond those usual disagreements between the political right and left.

It gets into utter hatred on both sides. If Congress could pass a law that would end political hatred, then maybe we could make inroads to stop crazy.

ctmalloy@outlook. Chuck Malloy is a long-time Idaho journalist and columnist. He may be reached at

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Tags: Chuck Malloy, Democrat, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Mike Simpson, NRA, Republican, Ted Cruz, Texas, Uvalde

13 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Don’t expect ‘common sense’ to prevail

      1. When the Founders composed the Constitution…and especially the 2nd amendment…..they didn’t just return from a hunting trip.

        FJB and all his friends!

        I will never give up my arms and rights!

    1. You seem to know nothing about the constitution, which means you either don’t live in the USA, are an illegal and never passed the exam to become a citizen, or flat disagree with the constitution of the USA and need to get your sorry ass out of our country immediately.

  1. Something tells me the idiot that understands the brain is still forming even at 21 has no issue with children talking hormone blockers because they have been brainwashed into think they are trans. This is all emotional horse “shift” these same people are in full support of sending as many guns to Ukraine as possible i wonder how many background checks are being done there. 99.99% of all schools have never had a mass shooting this is clearly all emotional no common sense to be had any where.

  2. Chuck Malloy apparently does not appreciate nor comprehend our Constitution/Bill of Rights/or 2nd Amendment.
    At this point he probably should not pen anything further.

  3. But they can be armed to defend our country? They can vote?
    An 18 year old college student is unable to purchase a firearm for self defense?
    The shooters all have issues related to mental health. This latest one abused cats and shot someone with a BB gun. Please explain why normal young adults need to be punished over the actions of a psychopath?

  4. Stop teaching our children they are “VICTIMS”!!! That white skin is some kind of “Privelage” and that they should be sexualized at 3 years old. CRT is teaching hate. “Creating Racial Tensions”. School shootings are a result of all of this insanity. Guns are not new. We had plenty of them. We even had gun clubs in High School. Brainwashing our children is new. Stop the mental abuse of our children and you will stop school shootings.

  5. Why do we let the kids join the military at 18 then , we do have a problem. Our politicians and government employees are little more that a crime gang.

  6. “I chose 21 because the brain is still forming until then, especially in young men.”

    Okay, genius…..then no one can VOTE (for your communist party politicians) until 21 either!

  7. This is more posturing to the center of compromise.

    Anyone who studies mass shootings (as I have) for over 10 years knows what they are really looking at.

    I’m not buying into the BS!

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