I’m updating and re-titling this post in light of this appalling story in today’s Globe that reveals Scott Brown’s brave and heroic response to new questions about gun laws:
US Senator Scott Brown said Monday that it should be left up to lawmakers in individual states to decide whether to approve new bans on assault weapons.
The senator’s comments follow a shooting rampage in Colorado that left 12 people dead and 58 others injured at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
The shootings also prompted supporters of tighter gun laws to renew their call for the reinstatement of a federal ban on 19 types of military-style assault weapons that expired in 2004.
Brown, a Republican, said such restrictions are better left to states.
“Scott Brown supports the state assault weapons ban here in Massachusetts, and believes that the states are the appropriate venue for making these types of decisions,” a spokeswoman for Brown said in a statement.
“Stupid” is a strong word, but it seems to fit pretty well here. If you don’t want an assault weapons ban, man up and make the case for why such a ban is a bad idea. But it’s almost uniquely pointless to advocate for state-level bans as a U.S. Senator. There used to be a federal ban on assault weapons, and it worked pretty well. Pressure from the worst special interest group in the country, the NRA, resulted in its lapsing. Brown is one of a handful of Senators who could actually do something about that. And it would seem to go without saying because it’s so blindingly obvious, but apparently Brown doesn’t get it so we’ll say it anyway: it’s trivially easy to move guns across state lines, so state-level bans are not likely to be effective, yet Brown makes no effort to explain why he thinks state governments are the proper venue for dealing with assault weapons.
Mayor Menino (along with many other big-city mayors) gets it. Here’s hoping Senator Brown watches this video. He might learn something.