“If there is even one thing we can do to protect our kids, don’t we have an obligation to try?” President Obama asked rhetorically yesterday in Hartford, Connecticut. “If there is even one step we can take to keep somebody from murdering dozens of innocents in the span of minutes, shouldn’t we be taking that step? If there is just one thing we can do to keep one father from having to bury his child, isn’t that worth fighting for?”
Obama made a powerful emotional case for stricter anti-gun legislation yesterday, a case that few Americans heard unless their minds were already made up on the issue. And if some undecided American had happened to hear Obama’s speech, odds are they would have come away thinking, “Absolutely. I would do anything to keep my kid from getting shot.”
And that is why Obama’s speech will fail. It has no limiting principle.
In their more honest moments, anti-gun activists will readily admit that a more comprehensive government monitoring system of gun sales would have done nothing to prevent the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that took place in December. The shooter had no criminal record before he killed, so he would have passed a criminal background check. The killer’s mother, who purchased the weapons, also was not a criminal. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., basically admitted background check’s were ineffective to CNN’s Candy Crowley when she asked him, “How would anything in the bill, as it currently stands, have stopped anything that went on in Newtown?” Blumenthal could not identify a single scenario that would have prevented Sandy Hook. Instead he said he would fight for amendments that would ban “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines. Neither of these measures are expected to pass even the Senate and the 1994 “assault weapon” ban proved to be a complete failure.
Since the current gun control proposals would do nothing to stop mass shootings, even if Obama’s gun control bill became law, more are bound to happen. And the deaths in those events will be no more or less tragic than the deaths at Columbine, Aurora, or Sandy Hook. The emotional appeal for “more” gun control will be the exact same. Anti-gun activists would just use those future tragedies to justify further gun restrictions. The logic of doing “just one thing” so a father does not have “to bury his child” simply has no end.
Until anti-gun activists come up with a stronger nexus between the events they choose to exploit and their policy proposals, gun-rights activists have no reason cave in now.
From The Washington Examiner
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CNN, Obama at 51% approval but lower on key issues: As President Barack Obama begins what could be a pivotal week, with gun control, immigration reform and border security, and the budget all in the spotlight, a new national survey indicates the president’s approval rating has inched above the 50% mark. But according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, the president’s approval numbers on those three crucial issues remain below 50%.
Politico, Mitch McConnell joins Senate gun filibuster: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would join a group of Senate Republicans threatening a filibuster to oppose a cloture vote if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moves a gun bill to the floor this week.
Politico, Obama group launches ads targeting lawmakers on guns: Organizing for Action went online Monday with ads targeting nearly a dozen lawmakers on gun control legislation.
The Washington Post, Sen. Max Baucus moves to reshape tax code: Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is aiming to produce a tax-reform plan by August, when Congress will once again need a face-saving deal to justify raising the legal limit on the $16.8 trillion in federal debt.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Jindal gives up on tax swap plan: After months of pushing a dramatic proposal to swap the state’s income and corporate taxes in favor of higher, broader sales tax, Gov. Bobby Jindal is shelving his proposal.
Dylan Matthews explains why Americans should love huge government deficits.
The Washington Blade worries that gay couples will not be included in the immigration reform bill.
Micah Cohen lists which governors he thinks are most vulnerable in 2014.
Think Progress claims today’s Republican Party would hate Margaret Thatcher.
Israel Ortega on what U.S. Republicans can learn from Canada.
Katrino Trinko outlines the GOP battle plan against Thomas Perez.
Richard Epstein makes the case for deregulating labor markets.