The Corner

Gun Control as False Religion

The Left started criticizing people for saying they were sending their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims in San Bernardino last night. But what it is offering instead is magical thinking about gun control.

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut illustrated the growing rancor of the debate. After the Newtown massacre in 2012, he tweeted his appreciation of the “thoughts, prayers, and words of support” from his colleagues in Congress. Now he has had it with such sentiments. Last night he tweeted, “Your ‘thoughts’ should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness if you do nothing – again.”

You can see what he’s getting at. Saying that your “thoughts and prayers” are with the victims of a mass murder is a hollow gesture if you are refraining from taking obvious and practical steps that would make future massacres less likely. But have gun controllers, including Murphy, actually identified such steps?

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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