Profiles in courage

Frankly, there is no particular reason to talk about the issue of gun control, one way or another… let the Virginia Tech shooting sink in a bit, give it the distance of at least a few weeks. That’s not how politics works, of course. So naturally, it’s nice to see the Democrats in majority, led by Harry Reid. conceding the issue before it even starts. As always, Democrats are keen to believe Republican talking points, such as that it was the assault weapons ban back in 1994 (and that law alone) that led to the 1994 “Republican Revolution.”
We won’t talk about disgust generated back then that the President and both Houses of Congress were Democratic, that the President then, the spouse of the current Democratic frontrunner, fecklessly squandered his first term on office on carping about, and then selling out gays in the military, or touting, and then failing with, a hopelessly complex health care plan that he assigned his incredibly unpopular spouse (now the Democratic frontrunner) which consumed acres of forests just to avoid the words “employer mandate” (which was, of course, the fundamental element of that so-called plan)… we especially won’t talk about Lonnie Guinier, Dan Rostenkowski, or even Speaker of the House Tom Foley bringing an extraordinarily unpopular lawsuit (which he won… though he lost his own seat!) challenging his own state’s passage of Congressional term limits, or a perception of a party in power that lost its way and was more interested in its own petty perks, engaged in corruption, etc., than in good government. Perhaps reminiscent of, you know, the 2006 election. We’d rather talk about an assault weapons ban.
The only appropriate political response IMHO to this week’s events is the correct one offered by Sen. Leahy, now Judiciary Committee chairman: hold hearings on the Virginia Tech tragedy itself, without any promise of broader action. We are not Britain, which, after one school shooting in a kindergarten in Scotland, virtually banned private gun ownership overnight… we could have such incidents in this country every day, forever, and it would not likely diminish our national obsession for guns and gun violence. (Does this say anything about Americans? A great deal; none of it good. But I defy anyone to prove me wrong about that.)
That said, the Democrats speaking on the issue are probably right– there isn’t likely to be a political groundswell for a broad gun-ban. But just as Republicans have played the abortion card for years by selecting extreme snippets (“partial birth abortion”), Democrats could approach the issue incrementally (such as questioning the super-fast gigantic clips of bullets that allowed Cho Seung Hui to keep firing and killing unabated… i.e., there is no conceivable reason any member of the public should have such things).
IMHO, that’s a much smarter move than what I see going on now– i.e., giving away the game before it starts. Of course, Harry Reid seems to have other ideas. Still and all, kind of a
perverse break for Alberto Gonzales, though, who hasn’t been on page one in days… kind of reminds one of Gary Condit and 9-11…