Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Don't See America First?

An Australian talk show host, appalled by the alarming number of mass shootings in the United States, has a novel idea of what the rest of the world can do about it in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Oregon. She proposed that people in other countries boycott tourist travel to the U.S.  No more foreign guests at Yellowstone or Yosemite, no more of them at the Disney theme parks, no more Australians, Britons, Germans, or - heck - South Africans going to see the greatest city in the world.  Or, once they've seen Philadelphia, New York.
Would such a boycott actually be feasible? After all, other advanced countries have a limpid economy just like we do, and its citizens are probably unable to travel to America just as many Americans are unable to travel abroad.  In short, there already may be a drain on our tourist business.  How would a boycott work when many people from the other sides of the pond are probably not traveling here already?
Gun control advocates in this country would no doubt welcome international pressure on Congress to pass meaningful gun control legislation, as Australia did in 1996 after a mass shooting of its own; having failed to to get our government to do so, they clearly need some help.  But I doubt they're going to get any help from the Democratic "front-running" presidential candidate.  Right now, Hillary Clinton is taking a stronger stand on gun control, which would be a reversal from her position in 2008 - which in turn would be a reversal of her position in 2000.   In her 2008 presidential campaign, she shied away from a proposal for the proposed national firearms registry that was supported in 2000 by a U.S. Senate candidate in New York named . . . Hillary Clinton.  Her pivot back to supporting tougher gun laws is largely to draw a clear distinction between herself and Bernie Sanders, who is more tolerant of guns on account of representing a rural state such as Vermont in the House and Senate for the past quarter century.   The fact that Hillary is getting all this attention for coming out for gun control in the aftermath of the Oregon shootings when she's on record as having been against a gun registry after she was for it - she even bragged in 2008 about learning how to shoot as a girl - nauseates me, especially when a third Democratic presidential candidate has a record for toughening gun laws as governor of his state and, as a former big-city mayor, knows what we need to do to stop the violence.  And the NRA hates him as literally as the Dropkick Murphys hate Scott Walker.
The candidate's name is Martin Joseph O'Malley.
You can read about Marty's gun policies here.  When O'Malley speaks about leading on guns, he's the real deal.  But when Hillary talks about guns while touring the campaign trail in Iowa and New Hampshire . . . well, that's a trip I'm going to boycott.

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