Some Girls & Guns















Another massacre, another charade



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s the cycle of poverty. There’s the cycle of violence. And then there’s the cycle of gun talk. It starts with a mass shooting. Gun-control advocates blame the deaths on gun-control opponents, who argue, in turn, that none of the proposed restrictions would have had any effect on the incident in question. The debate goes nowhere. The media move on.
Until the next incident, when the cycle begins again.
So with the Roseburg massacre in Oregon. Within hours, President Obama takes to the microphones to furiously denounce the National Rifle Association and its ilk for resisting “common-sense gun-safety laws.” His harangue is totally sincere, totally knee-jerk and totally pointless. At the time he delivers it, he — and we — know practically nothing about the shooter, nothing about the weapons, nothing about how they were obtained.

Nor does Obama propose any legislation. He knows none would pass. But the deeper truth is that it would have made no difference. Does anyone really believe that the (alleged) gun-show loophole had anything to do with Roseburg? Universal background checks sound wonderful. But Oregon already has one. The Roseburg shooter and his mother obtained every one of their guns legally.
The reason the debate is so muddled, indeed surreal — notice, by the way, how “gun control” has been cleverly rechristened “common-sense gun-safety laws,” as if we’re talking about accident proofing — is that both sides know that the only measure that might actually prevent mass killings has absolutely no chance of ever being enacted.
 Mere “common-sense” regulation, like the assault weapons ban of 1994 that was allowed to lapse 10 years later, does little more than make us feel good. A Justice Department study found “no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”
As for the only remotely plausible solution, Obama dare not speak its name. He made an oblique reference to Australia, never mentioning that its gun-control innovation was confiscation, by means of a mandatory buyback. There’s a reason he didn’t bring up confiscation (apart from the debate about its actual efficacy in reducing gun violence in Australia). In this country, with its traditions, public sentiment and, most importantly, Second Amendment, them’s fightin’ words.


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