It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday. They distract us with arguments about the word terrorism. Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism.
Opponents of gun control are saying, as they do after every killing, that no law can unfailingly forestall a specific criminal. That is true. They are talking, many with sincerity, about the constitutional challenges to effective gun regulation. Those challenges exist. They point out that determined killers obtained weapons illegally in places like France, England and Norway that have strict gun laws. Yes, they did.
But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs. It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.
It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation.
Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.
As I said, not messing around. It's something that has needed to be said by a major American media outlet for a very long time, and yet as we approach 2016, nothing will have changed. It will most likely not change in my lifetime, not unless the voting pattern and turnout of tens of millions of Americans change.
And our system is designed to make sure that will never happen.
If Newtown, if Aurora, if Charleston, if now Colorado Springs and San Bernardino don't motivate voters to throw out the NRA lobby, then nothing will.
It is screaming into the abyss, and the abyss will kill 30-35,000 every year and more and we will call it the price of freedom, the blood cost that must water the Tree of Liberty. It was nice of the editorial board to try. You're more likely to see this Congress pass laws stripping the paper of its editorial power than you are ridding the country of these weapons of war and death.
This will be the first and only time that this blog says this, probably in 95 years, but Jonah Goldberg's conclusion is correct:
Similarly, while very, very, very few people outside the Times’ offices — and media nerds like me — could care less about what is essentially a P.R. gimmick, the Times thinks this is a Very Big Deal. For the staid grey lady this amounts to shouting “Unleash the Kraken!” It shows you how desperate and frustrated the editors — and liberals generally — are with the fact that this country doesn’t agree with them on guns. It also shows that the “national conversation” most Americans want has more to do with Islamist terrorism and less to do with the alleged “gun show loophole.” This alone doesn’t make The Times’ views or their arguments illegitimate or invalid. But it does illustrate how unpersuasive they are to much of the public.
The same can be said for the disgustingly hypocritical new fad of calling Wayne LaPierre a “terrorist.” This from the same crowd who insisted Sarah Palin had blood on her hands because of some cross-hairs on a congressional district map and that Michelle Bachmann should be put in the dock for her “eliminationist rhetoric.” I have no problem with criticizing LaPierre, but the double standard is just so appalling. I mean, seriously, to Hell with these people.
What’s true for lawyers is also true for newspapers: When you’re shouting and pounding the table, it’s probably because you’re losing the argument.
And in fact the gun control argument in this country has been lost. It was never going to be won without blood. This applies to either side, and one side is proudly willing to accept tens of thousands of casualties in order to win. Our side has accepted the butcher's bill by default.
It's over, folks. Gunmericans have won. And it's been that way for decades.