Gun-control advocates, and their friends in Congress and state legislatures, must admit to themselves that the fixes they propose are mainly symbolic. There is a striking timidity to the gun-control movement. America is awash in guns — about 300 million are now in private hands. Mainstream, incremental, gun control measures, if enacted, would not reduce the number of guns in society, and they would only work at the margins of the problem. In other words, laws that would have prohibited the Newtown killer’s mother from acquiring her weapons would have been more helpful.
December 20, 2013
Jeffrey Goldberg: Why Newtown didn’t change America
[If you read his entire post you will discover Goldberg has a good understanding of the gun politics. The only thing he messes up above where he expresses his belief that “laws that would have prohibited the Newtown killer’s mother from acquiring her weapons would have been more helpful”.
He apparently does not understand a couple of things. It’s too bad because that understand is critical to his reaching the correct conclusion. Those items are:
- Firearms are used to protect innocent life. Hence any restrictions on firearms must take into account the reduction in benefits as well as the reduction in risks.
- Prohibiting firearm ownership to people with no propensity to commit violent illegal acts, such as the Newton killer’s mother, would not be “helpful” in the sense Goldberg might imagine it. In addition to the Constitutional issues flooding the courts there would be significant percentage of existing gun owners that would choose to act outside the law to demonstrate just how “unhelpful” they could be.
I applaud Goldberg’s call to gun control advocates to recognize they are mainly symbolic and do not advocate for practical benefits. But he still needs addition education and, contrary to the gun control advocates, I think he is rational and honest enough to learn.—Joe]