Here we go again: You can't stop a madman

Here we go again. In our outrage over the Aurora massacre, we slip back into our habit of trying to make sense of the senseless, to trace a chain of causation back to its source, and eliminate that source so it will never happen again.

This fallacy reached its peak of absurdity after the Tucson massacre, when we as a society decided to stop using violent metaphors for about 10 minutes, because we all know Jared Lee Loughner wouldn’t have gone wacko if people didn’t say things like “let’s target” a congressional district. Then we saw Loughner’s loony picture, and all discussion about whether he was nuts ended. …

It’s fair to debate whether the Second Amendment is a good idea, but doing so is purely an exercise in abstraction. There’s no debating that it’s there, and it’s there to stay. When 2004 John Kerry feels obliged to dress up like Elmer Fudd and go wabbit hunting for the cameras and 2008 Barack Obama feels obliged to tell Virginians, “I will not take your rifle away. I will not take your handgun away . . . it just ain’t true,” the possibility of repealing the Second Amendment stands at zero. You can’t blame the NRA for being fans of the Second Amendment any more than you can blame reporters for being fans of the First.