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Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Examining the implications of the Eric Cantor upset

Published: Sunday, June 15 2014 12:12 a.m. MDT

Pignanelli: A bipartisan congressional resolution honoring Obama for his visionary leadership has more chance of passage than any legislation that contains a whiff of offense against the Second Amendment.

Webb: Obama won’t win tough gun legislation because Congress knows that gun violence is only in small part about guns. Gun violence is complicated. It’s about family and societal dysfunction, mental health system breakdowns, generational poverty and children growing up fatherless.

Obama is outraged by shootings in schools, which generate enormous publicity. But in just one recent six-day period, from May 30 to June 4, 12 deaths by gunfire occurred in Chicago, Obama’s hometown. Chicago has tough gun control laws. In May alone, Chicago experienced 43 homicides.

Overall, crime and violence continue to decline nationally despite, or perhaps because of, 300 million guns floating about the country. Obama seems to want a symbolic victory, a political statement, something he can point to as his legacy, despite the reality that gun legislation won’t change much.

I don’t agree with the radical gun lobby. Gun laws ought to be common sense and we ought to do our absolute best to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people. But I’m tired of politicians who have no interest in solving the country’s big problems wringing their hands and demanding simplistic solutions every time an isolated senseless act occurs.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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