Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Standard Fare Gun Control Theatrics

Quoth the New York Times' Carl Hulse in a news piece this morning:
Not one senator in either party believes that someone who presents a serious terrorism risk should be able to waltz into a gun shop and legally buy powerful firearms. Yet partisanship, a reluctance to compromise and the influence of powerful special interests again prevented lawmakers from achieving a consensus objective, as four separate plans went down on Monday to an entirely predictable defeat.
Of course! Because political disagreement must be the product of corruption and plutocratic horse-trading. It would be silly to look for principled disagreements between Democrats and Republicans on matters of gun rights or due process. Indeed, the ACLU's opposition to the Democratic gun control proposals must also be part of the same blood money by which "special interests" distort the democratic process.

Such silliness. More so than any other issue, gun control allows our politicians and our politically obnoxious facebook feed to go full blown virtue signalling. It's a rather simple issue if you think about it. Those who oppose gun control support murder (and now terrorism to boot), while those who support gun control embody that most ferocious bravery needed to concur in full with every institution of elite opinion and social power in this country.

It's abundantly clear to all who spend even a trivial amount of time following such debates that the benefits of the gun control measures offered in the Senate yesterday will be positively liliputian. But that's not such a convenient empirical reality for the coterie of bloviating, cant-drenched cabbage leaves who govern this nation in deed and in thought.

Never mind that one of the four gun control measures defeated yesterday (and indeed the only measure that paid lip-service to the constitutional demands of proper due process) was blocked by Democrats on the grounds that (1) the due process entailed by actually checking whether someone on the notoriously vague terrorist watch list actually ought to be on the list is just to cumbersome; and (2) the measure is not as effective as it could be.

This second objection is rather curious. After all, aren't critics of gun control repeatedly lectured as to why even a small step to curb gun violence is a morally required step to take? Aren't we constantly reminded that although feasible gun control measures will save statistically trivial numbers of American lives every year, "if there's just one life we can save" it will all have been worth the while? Curious then why the Democratic caucus would block the Cornyn amendment, which may well have saved "just one life."

Ah well, hobgoblin of small minds and that sort of thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment