It takes a big man, a strong man, a man secure in his place in the intellectual universe, to admit when he’s wrong, and while I am clearly none of those things, I admit it: I was wrong. I have declared both in this space and on Twitter that the Democrats, and President Obama in particular, would never so much as speak the words ‘gun control,’ much less pursue it in any form, and over the last few weeks, to my great surprise, they have decisively proven me wrong: Obama enacted a series of executive orders and introduced (probably doomed) legislation to try and reduce the number of senseless mass slaughters taking place in America.
The politics of gun control are difficult, to put it lightly. So difficult that no one in a serious position of leadership even bothered trying anything of the sort when someone shot up a movie theater, or when someone else shot up a Sikh temple, or when someone else shot a sitting member of Congress. But the pointless massacre of a kindergarten class seems to have moved people in a different way. It’s certainly moved me: I find myself tearing up every time I think about it, including right now as I type this, and I didn’t have that reaction to Aurora or Virginia Tech or any of the way too many other incidents like this that seem to be coming more and more frequently.
It’s almost (I repeat: almost) like the Newtown shooter was a deep undercover gun control advocate, and he did what he did because only by going so far beyond the pale — shooting a roomful of 5- and 6-year-olds — would anyone actually do anything about this problem. (Some people seem to think that that’s exactly what he was doing, that the Sandy Hook Massacre was just a big stunt designed by Obama to soften the public for his comprehensive gun control plan that’s been waiting in his top drawer for just such a moment as this. THAT IS INSANE.) And even then, it’s highly doubtful (in my opinion) that anything meaningful is going to come from any of this.