New gun control legislation will not pass this Congress. I’m confident saying it won’t pass the next Congress either, or the next. In essence, new gun control legislation will never pass Congress again, as long as this generation of Democrats remains in power.
The assault weapons ban passed in 1994, not that long ago. Every time there’s a mass murder with an assault weapon, some pre-1994 Democrat calls for its reinstatement, joined possibly by the legislator from the site of the incident. In the latest mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the assault weapon apparently jammed, dramatically reducing the number of dead, in all likelihood. It’s really an excellent test case of the proposition of whether or not banning assault weapons saves lives. And yet there will be no reinstatement of the assault weapons ban.
Every time there’s a mass murder with a high-capacity magazine, someone calls for those to be banned, arguing that the right to bear arms does not equal the right to fire 30, 40, or 100 rounds in one magazine clip. But the NRA has so distorted the Second Amendment that their minions in Congress even believe that high-capacity magazines represent a Constitutional right that cannot be taken away.
And so we have this debate for a week or so after a shooting tragedy like this, one with familiar players, who make the same arguments, who then go back to their political business and never speak of gun control again. This time around, being an election year, the Obama Administration won’t even bother to pretend that they will get right on gun control legislation, as they did in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. This time, they stressed the use of existing laws to prevent gun crimes, despite the fact that every purchase James Holmes made in the Aurora shooting was perfectly legal.
The only member of Congress actually willing to call out the game-playing is the member of Congress with one of the closest connections to gun violence in her personal life. Carolyn McCarthy’s husband died in a mass shooting, and she’s fought for gun control laws ever since. But she’s basically done:
McCARTHY: I always look at it this way, no one from the NRA is ever going to vote for me. They’re just not. They might even come after me on other issues. But the thing of it is, as a politician, a lot of politicians know it’s the right thing to try to fight for something to save lives. They don’t have the spine anymore. They pander to who’s giving them money.
(By the way, the only time Carolyn McCarthy gets on a show like Meet the Press is when there’s a mass shooting, which should tell you something about how serious the media takes the whole thing.)
And that’s the plain truth. McCarthy is talking about the mentality of the entire party right there. We don’t have political conversations in this country on issues where both sides agree, or at least where both sides agree not to fight. This charade we have every week in the face of a mass shooting is so obviously for show, I’d almost rather it didn’t happen.