The tragic mass murder in Las Vegas has brought forth so many “common sense” solutions and criticisms intended to prevent repetition of this sort of thing that we need to take note. Hillary Clinton suggested the shooter might have done even more damage if he used a “silencer”, an accessory who’s legality was being debated by Congress at the time. The military may never have thought of that and will no doubt want to consider its use in combat situations to increase the lethality of our troops.
Predictably, after news reports of gun violence, new gun laws are demanded. However, serious questions remain about the efficacy of passing new laws to prevent gun violence. It’s hard to imagine a law that a mass murderer would be reluctant to break. Simply criminalizing use, sale or possession of a product, for example to make it unavailable doesn’t seem to work. The drug problem in this country has increased many-fold since criminalization, as did alcohol consumption after prohibition. Both sets of laws gave birth to a new industry, i.e. criminal distribution of the banned product. Since the Las Vegas shooter was not deterred by the criminal statutes in force, the thought apparently is that there will be some combination of new laws that will work. It’s possible the best minds of the Democrat party believe they know how to control guns to make them unavailable to criminals but either haven’t considered applying the “common sense” solution to control drugs or they just know that such measures don’t really work.
In fact, we have many years experience with common sense control of narcotics, illegal drugs and opioids. If there is one drug ban that worked, shouldn’t we look to that solution instead of rehashing the feel-good gun control proposals that do nothing? To the best of my knowledge, no law has ever successfully controlled availability of alcohol, drugs or guns to keep them out of the hands of criminals. Gun control advocates are certain about the effectiveness of “control” but have never provided evidence of what controls have worked and why.
Senator Gillibrand thinks Congress won’t pass those common sense measures because it won’t stand up to the NRA. Increased background checks are suggested as a necessary common sense solution to be able to predict potential problems. It has never been shown that any proposed increased background check would have stopped a mass shooting. But, if it really works why hasn’t Congress saved countless lives by requiring background checks before allowing people to drive cars, buy hammers or baseball bats or anything else that has been used to inflict injury to people, none of which the NRA opposes. Death by these other means outnumber felony gun deaths. Taking Sen. Gillibrand at face value, that would be low hanging fruit for Congress and our representatives could immediately start saving the thousands of lives lost each year from these terrible causes. Why are the gun control folks fixated on a constitutionally protected right and ignore deaths of many more when they have such an easy, and apparently definitive solution? I believe the answer is that the senator from New York knows such actions do nothing and are burdensome. That same standard should be applied to firearms control.
Having a proxy for social security is claimed to be a good predictor of mental instability but yet we still allow people with such proxies to drive. Progressives place great faith in the “no fly list” even in the absence of due process or real standards to get on the list. Yet there are thousands of the people on that list driving vehicles through our streets. This is especially troubling at a time when terrorists have discovered driving a vehicle into a crowd is an effective way to commit mass murder. Driving isn’t even a constitutionally protected right. One would think that it would be easy to pass bans on activities that don’t get the push back from the NRA. One needs to ask why these “common sense” measures aren’t being employed. A cynic could say it’s only politics with Sen. Gillibrand and others in her party as they continue their incremental assault on the Constitution.