Gun control: Government illusions
Once offered George Bernard Shaw, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” As with “communication,” so with “gun control.”
The Obama administration Wednesday rolled out what some consider to be the most sweeping gun-control measures in two decades. And to bolster the Madison Avenue presentation, it trotted out four children who, and supposedly on their unprompted own, wrote letters to the president about gun violence after the Sandy Hook school massacre. They were but shameless props to better promote the illusion.
Among the more touted pieces of the combination of proposals — legislation most of which has no legs in Congress and ancillary executive orders sure to make more private matters the government's business — are reviving the ban on “assault weapons” and reducing bullet capacity in the magazines of semiautomatic guns.
Never mind that a previous “assault weapons ban” — a bizarre prohibition of certain ergonomic and cosmetic features that penalized law-abiding gun users — had no statistical impact on the gun violence it was supposed to address.
And never mind, too, that reducing magazine capacity is of negligible effect, not only because magazines can be changed so quickly but that other laws — think “no-gun zones” that should be renamed “sitting-duck zones” — make the proposed restriction tragically laughable.
Whether it be guns, the economy or any issue in which government seeks to be our overlord, Americans can ill afford to live the illusions that government constantly creates. And that's what these fights — good and necessary fights — are all about.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.