The absolute, final reduction of gun control as a combination of irrational emotional gestures and political opportunism, courtesy of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, as quoted by Reason:
“Let’s be honest,” says Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). “Criminals aren’t going to buy a gun and go through a background check.” She nevertheless backs legislation expanding background checks for gun buyers. But since that bill will not impede criminals, the Times reports, Gillibrand also favors legislation that would “criminalize the shipping or transfer of guns to someone who is barred from possessing a firearm.”
That seems a bit redundant, since transferring a gun to someone you know or have reasonable cause to believe falls into a prohibited category is already a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Apparently Gillibrand wants to make it even more illegal, which she says is “complementary to background checks.”
There you have the theory underlying the gun controls favored by President Obama in a nutshell: None of these measures on its own will do anything to reduce crime, but if we pass them all together…well, they still won’t do anything, but they will create the appearance of doing something.
Gillibrand’s honesty is mildly refreshing, but really, this is nothing new. Gun control is all about asserting more power over the law-abiding, who are easy to push around, while ignoring the simple fact that criminals don’t obey the law. There is little political benefit to be harvested by enforcing existing law against criminals; that’s a tedious drag that diverts resources from social engineering projects and vote-buying schemes, and there are standards for success against which politicians might be unfavorably judged. Power is manufactured by throwing piles of new law at people who are honestly trying to play by the rules.
Every tragedy exploited by gun-control nuts, including the Newtown massacre, results in a geyser of laws that have little or nothing to do with the ostensible reason for the power grab. That’s because the “shotgun” approach to expansion of the State calls for peppering citizens with a bewildering shower of initiatives, then treating them as stubborn fools for refusing to agree to something. How often did we here, during the fading hours of the latest gun-control push, that we simply had to give the gun grabbers something? They’ll propose a hundred bad ideas, then pat themselves on the back for their “reasonable” willingness to “settle” for only ten.
The American people should cultivate a muscular reflex of saying “no” to the Do Something crowd, because Doing Something always involves surrendering more of our resources and liberty to politicians who will take whatever they can get, as long as they get something.