Gun control and magical thinking

Gun control and magical thinking

No television appearance elicits more angry comments from viewers than one in which the simple point is made that the “common sense gun control measures” (advocated petulantly by a president without so much as a day’s space — or even a few hours — between killings and performance) would do exactly nothing to prevent any of the recent massacres that litter the American landscape with blood and tears.

Add in an observation that simply notes that the monthly death toll from handguns in gun-control friendly Chicago is always a few dozen, and pro-gun control advocates come undone with online rage. The accusations — of being owned by the NRA, of insensitivity to human suffering, of indifference to truth — fly with abandon and not a little profanity.The fact is that any reasonable gun control measure that could be argued persuasively to be effective in stopping a particular attack would have an immediate, indeed unstoppable, appeal to a public that weeps in grief at a seemingly endless line of atrocities. If President Obama or former Secretary of State Clinton could appear in public and state that X measure would have stopped Y shooting, then that X measure would soar in public support. But they can’t. So they don’t. Instead they politicize these awful moments, speaking about straw men and magic….

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