As I wrote earlier today in a discussion on All the Crazy and All the Racism, dealing specifically with the plaintive cries over what we are to do about it, some of the usual targets will be in the sights of the liberal media. What we should expect to shake out of this tree is completely predictable, and if you find that hard to believe we need only look a brief ways into the past. Following the Newtown shooting, conclusions were quickly drawn and one of the most direct, forceful demands showed up in the Washington Post under the byline of Fareed Zakaria. The title says it all… The solution to gun violence is clear.
In it, Zakaria covers the same, tired ground about the differences in numbers of shootings in various industrial nations. (Of course, he fails to address the corresponding difference in freedoms in those nations, but that’s hardly unusual in the media these days.) The author uses all of that as the windup leading to the real pitch which we find in the brief conclusion.
There will always be evil or disturbed people. And they might be influenced by popular culture. But how is government going to identify the darkest thoughts in people’s minds before they have taken any action? Certainly those who urge that government be modest in its reach would not want government to monitor thoughts, curb free expression, and ban the sale of information and entertainment.
Instead, why not have government do something much simpler and that has proven successful: limit access to guns. And not another toothless ban, riddled with exceptions, which the gun lobby would use to “prove” that such bans don’t reduce violence.
A few hours before the Newtown murders last week, a man entered a school in China’s Henan province. Obviously mentally disturbed, he tried to kill children. But the only weapon he was able to get was a knife. Although 23 children were injured, not one child died.
The problems that produced the Newtown massacre are not complex, nor are the solutions. We do not lack for answers. What we lack in America today is courage.
When your read the examples of “regulations” in other nations which the author favorably cites you’ll see what he’s talking about. No half measures for Mr. Zakaria. He’s talking about an out and out ban on anything other than a few smooth bore muzzle loaders… if you’re lucky. Unfortunately for those embracing this school of thought, a simple ban on sales and a refusal to grant new permits wouldn’t do much – if anything – for decades at a minimum. There are simply too many guns out there already. You would slowly diminish the number of guns owned by the law abiding who have no interest in shooting up schools to begin with, but cutting into the stockpiles of the criminal element would be a generational task. (And given the number available on the black market, the attrition rate would be even slower.) But it would sure make the Left happy, wouldn’t it?
The alternative to that would be an England style, door to door confiscation program by men in uniform. I honestly shudder to think of what the landscape would look like once that began.
None of this, of course, deals with the question of the fundamental rights of Americans. Zakaria is a native of India, not the United States, so it is perhaps forgivable that things like the Second Amendment don’t immediately jump to mind when he considers such questions. The rules in his native land may also provide a bit of insight into his thinking. People in India are used to a complete lack of gun rights. The Arms Act of 1959 and the Arms Rules of 1962 in India prohibit the sale, manufacture, possession, acquisition, import, export and transport of firearms and ammunition unless under a license from the central government. (And good luck getting your hands on one of those.)
In any event, keep your eyes open in the days and weeks to come. I can assure you that we’ll be seeing retreads of that precise column showing up in the press until the next shiny object distracts the media. And the “solution” being suggested will be nearly word for word what you read right there.