The antigun hysterics in the wake of the Newton shootings are the height of unreason. Here we have a state with relatively strict gun controls, and an adult shooter who may have used an AR-15 that was legally owned by his mother. The earlier AW Ban permitted nearly identical weapons to be manufactured and sold, as long as they were without bayonet lugs and flash suppressors. Existing “preban” ARs still circulated, as did preban magazines. There are millions out there now and will be indefinitely.
Plus, no one is serious about banning handguns, the guns used in the vast majority of criminal homicides (and lawful self defense). No realistic ban will confiscate existing weapons of any kind. No realistic ban will prevent otherwise law abiding but mentally deranged individuals from buying guns to kill people. These events are thankfully rare. And the best defense is a good offence; we have seen a great many such shootings, including Pearl Mississippi and the West Virgina Appalachian law school shootings, stopped by law abiding gun owners.
Gun control appeals to a feminine, anti-action, decadent, helpless mindset that wants to wish away evil, substitute wishes for results, and demonize a certain class of Americans: the millions of mostly Red State inhabitants who own guns, are willing to stand against an oppressive regime in accordance with the Constitutional vision, and whose lifestyle is so at odds with the mentalities of SWPL liberals.
As bad as gun control is–it’s always had these characteristics–the “we have to act now STFU” rhetoric from Bloomberg and others is disturbing. Doesn’t it matter if a law is going to do any good? Doesn’t it matter if such a law may lead to massive civil disobedience? Doesn’t it matter that so few such shooting sprees and crimes with rifles generally ever take place? And finally doesn’t it matter that everywhere from Egypt to the Soviet Union to Cuba and the Jim Crow South, we have seen instances of oppressive government that were limited, in part, by the right of lawful gun ownership?
Facts have no place in this debate. It’s a culture wars thing. The whole point of such political issues is to set up lines of demarcation between the evil and the elect. Standing up for gun control shows one’s good faith by separating oneself from the uncouth, potentially violent, backwards, and otherwise disagreeable gun-owning class. Other cultural issues, from violence-saturated movies and video games to divorce to the widespread use of antidepressants are all totally off the table.
And it’s not as though these are uncharted waters. The original AW ban was a joke. If this one has more “teeth,” it will be a joke too. I have my ARs already. I have my magazines. So do most people like me. Our guns are going nowhere, whether in a dumpster or a registry. But the diminution in freedom–from Obamacare onwards–continues apace. This event was unfortunate in the extreme. But it’s an outlier, and policies shouldn’t be based on raw emotion and unusual events better prevented with more rigorous regimes of institutionalization and more armed law abiding normal citizens to prevent such psychos when they rear their heads.