Side Issue on the Front Burner

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryAn issue that I consider little more than a side show has now become all the rage. Yes, it is the gun issue, and it is showing no sings of going away. Now a new dimension has been added with Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbott offering those New York residents who own or want to buy assault rifles, or guns in general, to come and live in Texas. According to Abbott, all legal, responsible gun owners will have their Second Amendment rights guaranteed. I say “Whoopie!” I am sure there will be takers on this. Everywhere in the country, there are rallies by both those who believe in gun ownership and those who believe in gun control (or gun abolition) in every major city. Gun shows have become more popular than ever, and a record number of people are buying all kinds of guns in the anticipation that some categories of firearms, like assault rifles, will be outlawed.

Gone from this whole debate is any reason on both sides. Gone from this debate is any common ground that both sides in my view should be looking for. And gone from this debate is talk about the serious issues that should be in the news. The most important issue in the immediate present is the national debt. This debt remains a time bomb that will eventually explode and take a good part of our economy (and that of other nations too) with it. The second two most important issues are unemployment and poverty. Unemployment is still too high (especially by unofficial standards), and this issue feeds right into the poverty issue. Those who have lost their jobs are losing their homes, their possessions, and many are finding themselves homeless in the streets. This issue is of major concern to tens of millions of people who are still feeling the effects of the Great Recession starting from 2008 onwards. Whatever happened about the news on these two issues?

But now it seems that too many people are arguing over what to do about all the guns rather than the state of this country and how poverty, unemployment and homelessness is driving people to take up arms and shoot and kill innocent bystanders (in a number of cases, some people are not even using guns to kill people. They are using explosives and knives). If you take away all of the guns in this country, will this stop the homicide rate? Will this country truly be safe and secure? I am not saying that the issue on guns is not an important issue at all, but I see it as a side issue compared to whether our economy might collapse, on whether the government programs we have to help the poor are sustainable (they are not), and whether we as a people can not only truly bring down the unemployment rate but also provide Americans with good paying jobs. I believe these priorities should outweigh anything else in the short run.

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