Re: Thank You For Not Packing Heat

by Jonah Goldberg

Cliff – I guess my main problem with your stance stems from a simple question: Would Peter King’s legislation have prevented this attack?

The answer seems fairly obviously, No.

There were lots of laws on the books barring wanton murder and yet Loughner violated those laws. Does anyone honestly believe that a federal law banning carrying a gun would have made a difference?

It seems to me that after a tragedy like this, one question lawmakers should have in mind before they start proposing new laws is: Would this have prevented what happened?

If the answer is “No,” it shouldn’t bar consideration of the legislation, but my bias is to assume it’s grandstanding or foolish fealty to the “we have to do something” reflex. King’s proposal seems to fit both descriptions.

I should add that if the answer is “Yes” that doesn’t mean proposed legislation is sensible either. We could have a law on the books that subjects every citizen to a strip search before they approach a politician and that probably would have prevented this massacre, but I don’t think anyone believes that would be a good idea either.

Update: D’oh. Andy beat to the punch by seconds.