Gun Control is not a policy. It’s a slogan.
Each time there’s a mass shooting, Democrats and members of the media (but I repeat myself) rush to the microphones and cameras to declare that this, finally, is the proper time to push Gun Control. Gun Control, in this case, is defined as literally anything that restricts gun purchases, transfers, or ownership. It is virtually never anything that will do anything to stop mass shootings.
The argument goes something like this.
Other countries do not experience anything remotely approaching the level of mass shootings we have in the United States. Those countries have heavy gun regulations. Therefore, if we impose gun regulations in the United States, the level of mass shootings will drop.
The fallacy in this argument is that the United States has a unique philosophy, history, population, and ownership level of firearms already. That means that proposed solutions must take into account those varying factors, and deal with them head-on. But Gun Control advocates refuse to do so. Instead, they merely shout “GUN CONTROL,” and then defy their opponents to speak out against the slogan. They proclaim that the vast majority of Americans want more Gun Control. But that’s as empty as stating that the vast majority of Americans want government spending cuts. It’s not that the devil is in the details. It’s that the details are the entire matter under discussion. The question with regard to spending is: which programs would you cut? And the question with Gun Control is: which people would you prevent from getting guns, and how?
The Left rarely proposes an actual piece of legislation. That’s deliberate. First off, many conservatives are in favor of certain gun control proposals — even the NRA backs certain gun control proposals, particularly with regard to fully automatic machine guns and prevention of mentally ill people from obtaining weapons.
If the Left were to propose a piece of legislation, they’d have to defend it on the merits. They wouldn’t be able to posture about how “everyone but those evil Second Amendment advocates agrees!” Because not everyone would agree with their proposals. In fact, most people typically haven’t. Which is why Democrats, enjoying a 60-vote majority in the Senate and a wide majority in the House from 2009-2011, passed precisely zero major pieces of gun legislation — and why when Barack Obama attempted to use the Social Security Administration to seize guns from elderly people who used a proxy for their finances, even the ACLU opposed him.
All of which means that Democratic addiction to talking about Gun Control is precisely that: addiction to talking about Gun Control. It’s not an addiction to recommending anything, let alone doing anything. Gun Control is an excuse for nincompoops like Tommy Vietor to tweet nonsense like this:
It makes people on the Left feel good to spout this sort of nonsense. But it doesn’t forward the debate. It’s not designed to do so. In fact, it’s designed to inhibit conversation and prevent change.