is titled Newtown’s call to reason. The key point he makes is that those playing on emotion are not the Newtown families, but rather those who seek to scare us about guns.
The heart of the column is these three paragraphs:
The truth is that the Newtown slaughter has finally moved the gun debate away from irrational emotions, ridiculous assumptions, manipulative rhetoric — and, on the part of politicians, debilitating terror at the alleged electoral reach of those who see any new gun regulations as a step into totalitarianism. These bills are being taken seriously precisely because we are finally putting emotion aside. We are riding a wave of reason.This is the argument that needs to be made - that controlling access to weapons of mass destruction - which is what assault weapons and extended magazines are - is the REASONABLE approach to take. It is that we are now being forcefully reminded - by the Newtown families, by Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly.
Reason tells us that those who embrace the old slogan that “guns don’t kill people, people do” should support background checks because their very purpose is to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people, including criminals and those with deep psychological disturbances. Reason tells us that mass killers will kill fewer people if they cannot buy large magazines and have to keep reloading their weapons. Reason tells us that our freedom as Americans does not rest on the existence of an armed citizenry.
Who is really playing on emotions in this debate? Consider this gem from the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre: “Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face — not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival.” The only thing the gun lobby has to sell is fear itself.
Read the Dionne.