Some notes on the flood of discussions about gun control after the Navy Yard Shooting
I write on the day of the killing. Gun enthusiasts say it is inappropriate to talk about gun violence at the time it occurs. Better to wait ... and wait ... and wait ... until time has passed, and the weeping next of kin have vanished from TV, and it’s safe to return to business as usual. . . .Some such as Senator Diane Feinstein was already pushing for regulations that were quickly shown to be based on a misunderstanding about what had happened on Monday.
The fatal shootings at the Washington Navy Yard are evidence that Congress is “shirking its responsibility” on the gun debate, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Monday.
The California Democrat said the type of guns allegedly used by the shooter, including an AR-15, were evidence that Congress needs to do more. Earlier this year, a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks failed in the Senate by a narrow margin, while an assault weapons ban from Feinstein was also defeated. . . . .
“I’m sure that it will renew the discussions about access to weapons that can be used to kill a lot of people quickly,” he said.He went on to claim that people really support more gun control, even though they don't show up at the polls.
“Public opinion does not manifest itself at the polls,” he told reporters. “What manifests itself at the polls is the hardline groups that energize their voters, their single-issue voters to vote.”
He added, “The people who show up at the polls are the people who are motivated by their, in my opinion, unfounded fear that their guns are going to be taken away from them.” . . .As I have noted previously, I think that these poll claims are quite misleading.
Some publications such as the New York Daily News also quickly jumped into the debate with a front page picture of an AR-15.
Of course, they weren't alone in their calls for more regulations. From Politico:
Monday’s events left advocates calling for more action from the White House and Congress, with some arguing that the series of shootings was having a cumulative effect on the public even if the latest spree seemed unlikely to be as nationally searing as Sandy Hook.
“I think the country and indeed the president have reached the tipping point not because of one mass shooting but because of an aggregate drip, drip, drip of more and more mass shootings,” said Mark Glaze of Mayors Against Illegal Guns — a group New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg formed to do battle with the National Rifle Association over the issue. “Every time this happens, it throws additional fuel on a fire already blazing pretty high.” . . .
All that said, Harry Reid said that he would like to push for a vote, but he doesn't yet have the votes.
Days after mass shootings in both of his hometowns, President Barack Obama urged his most ardent supporters Saturday "to get back up and go back at it" and help push stalled legislation out of Congress so dangerous people won't get their hands on guns.
"We can't rest until all of our children can go to school or walk down the street free from the fear that they will be struck down by a stray bullet," Obama said in a keynote speech to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual awards dinner.
Legislation calling for expanded background checks failed to clear the Senate earlier this year despite a strong push by Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, people whose loved ones had been killed by gunfire and other gun-control advocates.
The bill was part of a package of measures Obama promised to put the full weight of his office behind after 20 first-graders and six educators were killed last December in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. . . .
Finally, take a specific claim in David Frum's piece.
Most gun casualties occur in the course of quarrels and accidents between people who would be described as “law-abiding, responsible gun owners” up until the moment when they lost their temper or left a weapon where a 4-year-old could find it and kill himself or his sister. . . .