What The Texas Explosion Reveals

Ken AshfordCongress, Crime, Disasters, Gun ControlLeave a Comment

I was reading an analysis of last night's fertilizer explosion in West, Texas, and came upon this paragraph:

This explosion is nothing at all like what happened in Oklahoma City back in 1995. That was a mixture of ammonium nitrate, a dry solid, and diesel fuel. Ammonium nitrate is made from ammonia, but the United States banned it after that attack. It was a common method of application, but now we use liquid UAN (urea/ammonium nitrate) or solid urea. Neither can be used to make explosives.

The author was referring to the bombing by Timothy McVeigh.

And it occurred to me that we had a national tragedy, and Congress did something in response to it: they banned ammonium nitrate. [UPDATE: Hmmmm… I can't confirm that outside this one blog.  Still, the point is that Congress responded.  Read on (and hat tip to Brett)]

Congress did more than that though.  They passed a law which require that dynamite and other commercial explosive materials contain tagging agents that would aid investigators in tracing bombs.

And that's what our government is supposed to do.  It's bad enough that the government doesn't act proactively, but at least it does something after a tragedy has occurred.

Except with Newtown.  It failed.  It failed because of the NRA.  Because of fear of the NRA.

Ironically, the law that included tagging of explosive materials only passed when an exemption was granted for gunpowder.  Gunpowder is not tagged.  And who opposed that?  You guessed it.  The NRA.

This is an evil organization, and its impact must be stopped.  Next electin cycle, it is important that a high NRA approval rating be deemed a negative.  Only then can this country become safer.

But the Texas explosion reveals something else: this is what happens with "freedom from government".  The plant had not been inspected in five years.