Charles Krauthammer for the Washington Post writes:
After a massacre like the one at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, our immediate reaction is to do something. Something, for politicians, means legislation. And for Democratic politicians, this means gun control.
It’s the all-purpose, go-to, knee-jerk solution. Within hours of the massacre, President Obama was lamenting the absence of progress on gun control. A particular Democratic (and media) lament was Congress’ failure to pass anything after Sandy Hook.
But the unfortunate fact is that the post-Sandy Hook legislation would have had zero effect on the events in Charleston. Its main provisions had to do with assault weapons; Dylann Roof was using a semiautomatic pistol.
You can pass any gun law you want. The 1994 assault weapons ban was allowed to expire after 10 years because, as a Justice Department study showed, it had no effect. There’s only one gun law that would make a difference: confiscation. Everything else is for show.
And in this country, confiscation is impossible. Constitutionally, because of the Second Amendment. Politically, because doing so would cause something of an insurrection. And culturally, because Americans cherish – cling to, as Obama once had it – their guns as a symbol of freedom. You can largely ban guns in Canada where the founding document gives the purpose of confederation as the achievement of “peace, order and good government.” Harder to disarm a nation whose founding purpose is “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Read the full article in The Washington Post.