Thursday, June 15, 2017


At a press conference from the scene, Virginia governor and Democrat Terry McAuliffe was the first to raise the spectre of gun control. "There are too many guns on the street," he said, before remarking that it wasn't the day for that debate. "If it's not the day for it why are you bringing it up?" replied a reporter.
Virginia shooting raises spectre, but not likelihood, of gun control
This, perhaps, is illustrative of the problem that we have with the "gun control debate" here in the United States. The focus appears to be more on being seen to be on the same side of the issue as particular constituent groups than it is on advancing any particular policies. Perhaps because the general consensus is that the status quo will remain inviolate, at least for the foreseeable future, posturing and virtue-signalling are the only remaining avenues for action. Just as it's conventional wisdom that Republican lawmakers have the National Rifle Association and firearms manufacturers pulling their strings, that same convention holds that Democratic lawmakers are beholden to the more activist wings of their voter base. Why being responsive to voters (regardless of whether one thinks those voters are wrongheaded, un-American or spot on) should be considered as bad as being dictated to by a trade organization is a mystery to me, but I suppose that few have ever decried American politics for an over-reliance on rationality.

In any event, both sides of the debate see the "thought leaders" and legislators on the other side as captured, and doing what cynical others bid them to do.

No comments: