The campaign to scapegoat Sarah Palin for Saturday’s murders in Tucson collapsed quicker than Michael Moore after a flight of stairs.
Whom, then, to blame? Simple: “Blame the Guns.”
Those aren’t our words, nor is that our own synopsis of the politicized response to the deranged murders.
Preposterously, that was actually the title of Richard Cohen’s Washington Post commentary this week on the matter, oblivious to his own self-parody. Cohen just couldn’t allow this atrocity to pass without rummaging through his partisan toolbox to affix fault:
“[I]t was the gun and our insane gun laws that resulted in six deaths. Until we come to grips with that, as a nation, we remain armed and dangerous… There is probably no getting rid of all guns, there is no denying their appeal, and there is no use ignoring the Second Amendment. But amendments can be repealed and then reworded (long guns only?) and somehow made to conform to the 21st century.”
One wonders how Cohen might respond to restrictions on his freedom of speech with the comment, “there is no use ignoring the First Amendment.”
Regardless, let’s indeed conform ourselves to the 21st century as Cohen instructs. According to a Gallup survey history released this week, 78% of respondents in 1990 agreed that “the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict than they are now.” Only 19% disagreed. Today, however, a 54% to 44% majority states that “the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made less strict than they are now.” Further, some 60% of respondents in 1959 agreed that “there should be a law that would ban the possession of handguns, except by police and other authorized persons.” Today, just 29% hold that opinion.
That Gallup polling data reflects the 21st century reality to which Cohen somehow remains ignorant. Namely, that the rapid increases in firearms possession, conceal-carry laws and “castle doctrine” laws that allow people to defend their ground have caused a decrease in crime and violence, not an increase. Additionally, other nations such as England have attempted to “get rid of all guns,” as Cohen suggests, only to see crime and violence rise.
So contrary to Cohen’s clueless assertion, the 21st century reality is that more armed means less dangerous.
More broadly, how did Cohen not immediately recognize the absurdity of his “insane gun laws” and “we remain armed and dangerous” comments? After all, he resides in Washington, D.C. where crime and violence are high despite suffocating gun “control” laws. In contrast, Tucson and Arizona allow far greater freedom to keep and bear arms, and are consequently far safer than Washington.
Sadly, Cohen’s descent into intellectual frivolity wasn’t alone on the Post’s editorial pages that day.
Fellow columnist and frequent MSNBC windbag Eugene Robinson also scapegoated inanimate firearms in his column entitled “Don’t Retreat on Gun Control.” Perhaps ignorance to simple sociological fact is contagious, because Robinson regurgitated the same illogic as Cohen:
“We may not be sure that the bloodbath in Tucson had anything to do with politics, but we know it had everything to do with our nation’s insane refusal to impose reasonable gun controls… Arizona is one of the most lenient states in the country when it comes to gun ownership. It is one of only three states – along with Alaska and Vermont – that allow individuals to carry concealed handguns without a permit. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano vetoed ‘concealed-carry’ legislation when she was Arizona’s governor. Her successor, Gov. Jan Brewer, signed the measure into law last year… The Second Amendment is a fact of life. But even recent Supreme Court rulings have left the door open to effective gun control measures.”
“Effective gun control measures?” Precisely where do such specimens exist, Mr. Robinson? The ones that Washington, D.C. imposed in becoming the nation’s murder capital, as opposed to the “lenient” Arizona laws that render it a far safer locale?
On a brighter note, their fellow columnist George Will provided his usual brilliant corrective in the editorial pages of the Post that day. Will wisely observed that, “It would be merciful if, when tragedies such as Tucson’s occur, there was a moratorium on sociology. But respites from half-baked explanations, often serving political opportunism, are impossible because of a timeless human craving and characteristic of many modern minds.”
Perhaps George Will could commence lunchroom tutorials at the Post’s offices.