1) In the clip above, the National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke asks MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin and “Morning Joe” house progressive Mika Brzezinski to explain what kind of measures would satisfy the hysterical calls of a Morning Joe panel to “DO SOMETHING!!!” about gun violence. Cooke referenced the President’s angry (irresponsible, partisan, useless) attack on Congress’s failure almost immediately after the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and accused ant-gun forces of acting as if they had solutions to gun violence (that don’t involve trashing the Bill of Rights) when they don’t. [I pointed out in yesterday’s post that they don’t because there aren’t any.] He said to Halperin:
“Joe Biden doesn’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I think it’s fair to say you don’t know how to fix this problem. It’s a very complex question in a country with 300 to 350 million guns on the street. The way they talk is as if they have the answer and there are these recalcitrant forces in the country that say ‘no, no, no,’ even though deep down they know their legislation will work. That’s simply not the case. It’s far more complicated than that.”
As you will see, Halperin had no actual proposals, ducking the issue by saying that he’s “not an expert in the field.” But he said that he wanted leaders to “have a thirst and hunger and passion to try to come up with solutions.”
I will accept this as a legitimate argument as soon as I hear any plausible solution that does not involve banning guns, making it excessively difficult for law abiding citizens from arming themselves, or engaging in pre-crime measures against citizens who have had episodes of mental illness or who are suspected of having such episodes. The proposals I have heard are incremental and will not accomplish the goal, ergo more obtrusive measures will be proposed and pushed by identical arguments and hysteria, until…we end up banning guns, making it excessively difficult for law abiding citizens from arming themselves, or engaging in pre-crime measures against citizens who have had episodes of mental illness or who are suspected of having such episodes.
Either anti-gun “DO SOMETHING!” advocates like the President, Mika and Halperin know this, intend it and are not being honest about it, or they are naive.
2) Jeb Bush responsibly addressed the impulse to stampede support for ill-considered solutions in the wake of tragedy…
“Yeah it’s a — we’re in a difficult time in our country, and I don’t think more government is necessarily the answer to this. I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else. It’s just, it’s very sad to see. But I resist the notion, I had this challenge as governor, because, look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”
You will note that Bush did not shrug off the Oregon shooting by saying “stuff happens.” Nonetheless, the completely principle-free Debbie Wasserman Schultz mischaracterized what Bush said with a fatuous tweet:
“A message for Jeb Bush: 380 Americans have been killed in 294 mass shootings in 2015 alone. “Stuff” doesn’t just “happen.” Inaction happens.”
Inaction regarding what, you shameless hack? What action are you proposing that would actually prevent a shooting like this week’s? Or the Norfolk shooting of the TV reporter? Bush is absolutely correct: bad stuff happens, and that does not mean that the government can or should rush to “DO SOMETHING!”
The news media, which established itself for all time after the Sandy Hook shooting as abandoning their role as journalists on this issue and becoming undisguised anti-Second Amendment lobbyists, intentionally distorted Bush’s comments. The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza tweeted;
“In Greenville, South Carolina, Jeb Bush, arguing against calls for gun control after major tragedy, says, “stuff happens.”
Wrong. Bush was not referring to the specific tragedy, but to all instances, gun related of not, where a tragic occurrence prompts a chorus of demands to “DO SOMETHING!” Lizza could have tweeted, “In Greenville, South Carolina, Jeb Bush, arguing against calls for gun control after major tragedy, says, “the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.” But he didn’t, because that would have been fair, Bush is a Republican, and Republicans don’t deserve fair. The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Jezebel (Jeb Bush Offers Heartfelt Condolences to a Grieving Nation: ‘Stuff Happens’)—nice—and others piled on all distorting Bush’s meaning.
“Asked about the drive to take action in light of what happened in Oregon, he said, ‘Look, stuff happens. there’s always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something and it’s not always the right thing to do.’ How would you react to Governor Bush?”
It’s a deceitful question, and misleading, as well as incomplete. Obama, if he had learned anything about shooting his arrogant mouth off in public with incomplete information after the Cambridge cop and Trayvon Martin fiascos, would have said “I’ll have to hear the whole statement and its contexts before being able to comment.” That would have been fair, prudent, responsible and Presidential, but then Barack Obama is not fair, prudent, responsible and Presidential, never has been, and after seven years it is pretty clear he never will be. So instead he said,
“I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgments based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting… and they can decide whether they consider that stuff happening.”
Terrible, but typical.
(I have never seen such an inept leader on the national level. Since so many people reflexively defend this kind of Presidential malpractice, Obama doesn’t only hurt the nation with this kind of thing, he sets leadership itself back, by distorting the public’s understanding of what competent and ethiacl leadership is. A true ethics corruptor.)
3) From Ed Morrisey:
Let’s recall that Obama’s solution to the Newtown shooting and every shooting since has been to expand background checks and banning so-called “assault weapons,” and in every case since then, his proposal would have been a non-sequitur anyway. “My response here at this podium end up being routine,” Obama protests, and then lists a litany of incidents in which the knee-jerk immediate reaction to the shootings demanded solutions that would have done nothing to address the shootings that had taken place.
Did this shooter pass a background check? Did he use an “assault weapon”? We don’t know yet, and neither does Obama. But hey, let’s pass a bunch of laws and see what sticks, or something…In fact, while this venting undoubtedly provided some catharsis for the President, he still didn’t have any solutions to fit the previous shootings, let alone make a case that more gun laws — which Oregon passed not long ago anyway — would have prevented this one. The only solution which would address Obama’s righteous indignation would be widespread confiscation of firearms, which actually was the “solution” implemented in a couple of the countries Obama cites as responsible examples. That’s the solution Obama actually wants, but for some reason he’s not quite ready to demand it. I wonder why.
4) Eugene Volokh, law professor, libertarian, thoughtful and measured non-partisan smart person, once again raised the argument he has raised before…and one that bolsters my point: anti-gun forces are really arguing for a gun ban, and we have a very good historical lesson about what happens when this country tries to ban something that has been imbedded in the culture for centuries, one that Democrats like to cite when banning something they enjoy is proposed:
“Every day, about 30 people are killed in the U.S. in gun homicides or gun accidents (not counting gun suicides or self-inflicted accidental shootings). And every day, likely about 30 people are killed in homicides where the killer was under the influence of alcohol, plus alcohol-related drunk driving accidents and alcohol-related accidents where the driver wasn’t drunk but the alcohol was likely a factor (again not including those who died in accidents caused by their own alcohol consumption). If you added in gun suicides on one side and those people whose alcohol consumption killed themselves on the other, the deaths would tilt much more on the side of alcohol use, but I generally like to segregate deaths of the user from deaths of others.
So what are we going to do about it? When are we going to ban alcohol? When are we going to institute more common-sense alcohol-control measures?
Well, we tried, and the conventional wisdom is that the cure was worse than the disease — which is why we went back to a system where alcohol is pretty freely available, despite the harm it causes (of which the deaths are only part). We now prohibit various kinds of reckless behavior while using alcohol. But we try to minimize the burden on responsible alcohol users by generally allowing alcohol purchase and possession, subject to fairly light regulations.”