Americans “sometimes hope that just changing the law will make all bad things go away,” Mr. Romney said. “It won’t. Changing the heart of the American people may well be what’s essential, to improve the lots of the American people.”What really bothers me is that this is exactly the same argument given in the mid-60's by many opponents of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and many other laws and measures to desegregate American society. The idea being that you can't legislate desegregation - you can't "force" segregationists to like African-Americans and associate with them - you have to wait for people's hearts to change.
Well, maybe so. Yet the laws of the land under the Fourteenth Amendment of our Constitution, based on principles of our Founders in the Declaration of Independence (that "ALL created equal" business - thank you, President Lincoln), have clearly made a difference at least in providing a more equal playing field. Racism is now viewed as so deplorable that nobody will admit to it, even as accusations fly on the race card both left and right, black and white, and back around again.
So here's the thing. I keep finding this linkage between opposition to Civil Rights for minorities and other conservative political positions. Now there's this excuse, again, that it's the heart we have to change instead of laws to force people to give up assault weapons, or at least not buy them anymore. I don't dispute the need to change hearts. That's part of my motivation for this blog - but that's going to take a while. And in the meantime, there should be nothing wrong with the expectation that we can go to a movie theater without getting blown away by legal assault weapons. The right to peaceably assemble, even to see a Batman movie, should trump any imaginary right to unregulated arms.
Romney's dad, George Romney, was one of the last Republican champions of Civil Rights. He walked out of Goldwater's convention in 1964. I really wonder what he would think of his boy, Mitt.