Editorial: No solution, but Obama’s effort noble

Jan. 17, 2013 @ 08:08 PM

President Obama gave it a good effort Wednesday, we’ll say that for him. At least he did something.

But solving America’s problem with guns? All of the Obamas and Bidens of the world aren’t solving this one.

The president is already engaged in a fiscal battle with Congress, with three deadlines approaching. Comprehensive immigration reform is looming. Credit the president for a willingness to go into another battle he knew he had to take.

Unfortunately, his attempts will do as many others have done — send an unwanted message to the law-abiding gun owners, and mean little to nothing for criminals.

We understand outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who spoke to the military overseas and exclaimed as only he could, “Who the hell needs armor-piercing bullets except you guys in battle? For the life of me, I don’t know why the hell people have to have assault weapons.”

We don’t either. But this is America, and there’s more than weapons when it comes to what we want, what we have, why we get it and what we’ll go through to satisfy ourselves.

Background checks are great when they happen. But a whopping 40 percent of sales of guns are estimated to be free of background checks. And administering a policy on sales between any two acquaintances is unreasonable until one commits an act that draws in law enforcement — robbery, murder, etc.

Estimates of guns in America are in the neighborhood of 300 million. Only guns bought from licensed dealers, the original buyers, can be traced by the feds. Additionally, about 80 percent of guns in crimes are not obtained through dealers with requirement for background check. Another 1 million are stolen annually.

We have said in this space before the solution will not lie with the president, or this Congress. Nothing Wednesday changed our outlook.

We were glad to see some mentions that can chip away at the problem. They are all good components of helping the situation.

But solving the problem? All the Obamas and Bidens of the world aren’t solving this one.

Society still has the answer.