4:30 PM CDT, July 27, 2012
President Obama said yesterday that "AK-47s belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities." You could take this as damning evidence that he has a secret plan to confiscate our firearms. Or you could take it as a head fake to mollify gun control advocates on his way to doing nothing.
He knows there are no AK-47s on the streets -- only guns that resemble them but without their capabilities. It's like saying criminals shouldn't have ICBMs -- indisputable, irrelevant and requiring no action by the president.
Today, the Wall Street Journal reported on the conspicuous aversion of Democrats in Washington to take up the cause. Obama has offered no proposal or even indicated he will offer one. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "said Thursday the Senate wouldn't have a debate on gun control, much less a vote." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took no position.
I'm sure this is because they see mostly political risk in such measures. There is no groundswell of popular support for gun control, and there is no compelling evidence that any changes would work, particularly against a determined killer with no criminal record or known record of mental illness.
It used to be that whenever there was a horrific incident involving guns, there would be a genuine flurry of interest in tightening the laws. If those changes had done much good, the same might be true today. Americans don't have much faith in the ability of government to solve problems, and nowhere is that more true than on gun violence.
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