September 17, 2013

Gun control - Gun rights debate redux

President Obama is eager to use the latest D.C. shooting to advance his political agenda on gun control.  He's not the only liberal to hop on this tragedy for political purposes, but he certainly will be the most visible.  And it will be the most visible when he fails.

In the wake of the shooting at the Navy Yard, Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president is implementing executive actions and reiterated his commitment to strengthening gun laws, including expanding background checks to sales online and at gun shows.

“The president supports, as do an overwhelming majority of Americans, common-sense measures to reduce gun violence,” Carney said.
Of course everybody supports common-sense measures to reduce gun violence.  The problem Mr. Carney is that not everybody defines common sense the same way you or the president do.  And the president had better tread carefully on this one - the gun debate was a loser for him not long ago and despite the deep sorrow of the tragedy, the return to common sense over gun control versus gun rights won't take long.  The debate is not a winnable one for the president.  Common sense is not the issue, the issue is the uncommonness of these types of crimes and the root cause.  What gun control and 'executive actions' will do is convey to everyone except the gun control zealots that the president believes himself to be above the constraints of power placed upon his office.  He is not. It won't help him. 
Besides the debate being a political loser for the president, it won't help the problem.  No amount of gun control will stop mass killings. It just won't. Evil is evil, and mental illness is mental illness. Gun control doesn't do a thing to change either one.  The stress of society is pretty bad for a lot of people.  While it may not have mattered in this instance, better economic times would certainly relieve stress at an individual level and may correlate to lower instances of violent crime.  How about you stay pivoted to jobs Mr. President?  At least there your heavy handed efforts will have minimal impact on society.

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