I know there's going to be steep competition for the dumbest column about guns in the wake of [insert latest horrific mass murder here], but since The Fix keeps flogging
this rather silly effort
we're going to at least give it an honorable mention. After noting Obama's repeated point that gun deaths in America dwarf deaths by terrorism and musing that it might be "hard to know what point Obama was hoping to make," and after indeed crunching the numbers and agreeing that all the terrorism America has faced is mosquito spit in a bucket compared to the flood of gun deaths in America every single day:
Gun violence is real and pervasive, of course, but you could make the same point about fatalities that result from car crashes or from heart disease. The number of people who die from those things dwarfs the number of deaths from terrorism, too.
Yes. Yes, that is right. Those things also kill large numbers of Americans. And, for the benefit of the slow among us, we will again repeat that the difference between those things and gun violence is that Congress has not repeatedly passed multiple laws demanding that government be barred from doing anything to prevent car crashes or heart disease. Because, of course, that would be stupid. There is no pro-cancer lobbyist group demanding doctors not screen their patients for cancer because Freedom, and the few voices among us who huff that they should be able to launch their un-seat-belted protocorpses out of their car windshields if they damn well want to are, rightfully, ignored in favor of all the firefighters and police officers and paramedics who got tired of having to carry snow shovels in their trunks in order to laboriously peel those freedom-lovers back off the pavement.
Only gun violence is subjected to federal laws, passed by cheap crooks and supported by the paranoid, requiring government to not even examine why these things are happening. If private planes were crashing into American public classrooms at the rate of one a week. you can damn well bet that the cable news networks would pee their tailored pants in alarm, and presidential contenders would be beside themselves with public fury demanding that something be done, and there would be select committees and all of the usual pomp that important men surround themselves with when they want to be seen as giving a damn. We would shut down the airports. We would demand inspections of each and every plane. We would, in short, do something.
If elementary, middle, high school, or college students in America were constantly being killed on a classroom-by-classroom scale by crashing private planes, or monthly gas explosions, or a steady stream of ricin bombs, or packs of rabid wolves, or toxic pencil shavings, or ordinary crayons, or, yes, car accidents, heart attacks, or cancer, we would do something. We would do a lot of somethings; new laws, new safety requirements, new commissions, new investigations; we would keep doing them until we had made such incidents, at the very least, more rare than they used to be.
The right to simply walk into any classroom in America and start murdering people, however, is specifically and conspicuously Protected. It may not be infringed in the slightest, says the NRA, which has predicated all their recent lobbying and promotional fearmongering on the explicit premise that what with the "knockout game," and immigrants, and ISIS, and the government itself, their members may themselves find themselves in a position where they, too, need to murder large numbers of people at once and government shall not interfere with those preparations. This radical—well, objectively insane—premise is cited even by sitting congressmen as the reason why the rest of America shall be prohibited from doing anything to prevent those mass murders.
Head below the fold for more on this sad story.
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