If We Want To Really Address Mass Shootings We Need To Stop Talking About Gun Control
We got horrible news out of Oregon yesterday where another group of people were shot down by a murderer who ignored the prohibitions of a “gun free zone.”
Like clockwork President Barack Obama addressed the nation about the incident, and despite knowing almost nothing about the specifics of this incident, demanded more gun control.
“What is also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say ‘Obama politicized this issue,'” Obama said. “Well this is something we should politicize.”
I don’t necessarily disagree. Politics are the means by which we implement policy, and perhaps there is public policy that could address mass shootings, but one thing is certain. Talking about gun control is a waste of time.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]If the President had done nothing more than express his condolences about the Oregon shooting he could be excused, because he wouldn’t be leading the nation down the trail to another enormous waste of time. But he didn’t choose to do nothing. He chose to demand gun control, like he has before, knowing full well that the demand will fail.[/mks_pullquote]
I could tell you about all the reasons why gun control policies don’t stop gun crime any more than “gun free zones” stop mass shootings. Guns exist in the world. Most of the time the guns used in these sort of shootings were legally purchased by people giving authorities no reason to deny them a sale. Further restrictions on gun won’t do anything about the guns which already exist in our society, nor will they address the fact that someone who has committed no crimes and is displaying no mental health issues can legally obtain a gun and then use it for murder years, and years later.
But we’ve heard all of that before. So how about this: Gun control is a political non-starter.
Every time we get an incident like the one in Oregon we get politicians and pundits talking about “starting a conversation” about gun control. As if we haven’t been having that conversation for generations now. What’s changed?
Very little. Because like it or not, most Americans aren’t in favor of more gun control. Most Americans agree with my previous points about gun control being futile when it comes to stopping crimes.
Which brings us back to President Obama. What he is doing by calling for gun control is worse than doing nothing. If the President had done nothing more than express his condolences about the Oregon shooting he could be excused, because he wouldn’t be leading the nation down the trail to another enormous waste of time. But he didn’t choose to do nothing. He chose to demand gun control, like he has before, knowing full well that the demand will fail.
Again, politicizing an issue isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some problems can and should be addressed by public policy, and political ideologies shape policy. But the sort of politicizing President Obama is doing, responding to this incident in Oregon with a sort of ideological knee-jerk response seemingly based more on habit than facts, is inexcusable.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results,” is probably not something Albert Einstein said (though people seem determined to attribute it to him), but there is truth in the statement whatever the source.
Thus, insanity is President Obama proposing the same policy changes on guns over and over again and expecting that somehow this time things are going to be different.
Here’s a spoiler: They won’t be. It’s time to talk about something else.