More Tuscon Shooting Aftershocks...
Now this is interesting. U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) would like to introduce a bill that would forbid bringing a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official. He's a Republican, which makes him somewhat different from most gun-control supporters. I don't know enough about him to make a judgment call on what sort of Republican he is, so I'll restrict my commentary to the proposed bill.
I assume since the article refers to "carrying" a gun, this wouldn't mean those who keep guns at home wouldn't need to remove them if a politician came to their neighborhood.
However, this law wouldn't have stopped Loughner from perpetrating his rampage. He was already intending to commit murder, which is already illegal. It would only deter law-abiding citizens from bringing their guns within 1,000 feet of certain officials, which would mean the only one at a future assassination attempt who is armed is the criminal.
(Now, you could say this would avoid the police accidentally shooting an armed citizen trying to stop the would-be assassin, and I will concede that. However, there have been incidents, like the Pearl High School shooting in Mississippi in 1997, in which armed bystanders have subdued attackers before they can do more damage, so this solution too has its problems.)
Also, is it reasonable to expect those who openly carry guns or have concealed-carry permits to call ahead everywhere they go, lest a politician be there? That strikes me as an unreasonable infringement on the rights of those who carry guns.
I dislike the title, since not all mentally-ill people are potential mass-murderers and therefore shouldn't be denied their right to bear arms, but the article made a really good point.
However, the article does have a solution to the problem that isn't knee-jerk idiocy like the measures proposed in the last blog entry I wrote or the non-solution I mentioned earlier in this one. Pushing the states to make sure that people who, due to dangerous mental illness (not PTSD or Asperger's Syndrome, but something like Loughner's or the Virginia Tech shooter's) are on the lists of people who cannot legally buy guns and that these lists can be checked by gun salesmen is an actual solution to the problem.
That is the sort of reform that should be implemented, not banning everybody from purchasing high-capacity magazines, using crosshairs in political imagery, or carrying guns within a fifth of a mile (roughly) of a politician.