The Corner

Politics & Policy

Let’s Wait for the Facts, and Get Them Right

Regarding Las Vegas, we know very little about the shooter’s motivations, the gun he used in his massacre, and how he acquired said gun, but that hasn’t stopped Hillary Clinton from plowing forward with gun-control talking points. For example:

See, none of this would have happened if Republicans hadn’t let Clinton’s gun ban expire.

Except that the 1994 law had nothing to do with fully automatic weapons, which fire continuously when the trigger is held. It pertained to semiautomatic weapons (one shot per trigger pull) with certain tactical features such as folding stocks.

Fully automatic weapons are regulated much more strictly; it is illegal to sell a new one. Those owned before 1986 are still in circulation, but they are incredibly expensive owing to limited supply, and the rules for owning them are incredibly strict. They almost never turned up in crimes until now. It’s not clear at this point whether the shooter had one of those pre-1986 guns or achieved automatic fire through some other means, such as by modifying a semiautomatic weapon, which is difficult and illegal, or employing a “bump stock,” which, unwisely in my opinion, is legal.

Soon enough, Newsweek followed up by reporting that this was actually the 274th “mass shooting” in the U.S. this year. At least this time they provided the needed background information: This is a tally from the Gun Violence Archive, which includes any incident where “four or more [are] shot and/or killed in a single event, at the same general time and location not including the shooter.” This is an overly broad definition that even Mother Jones has taken issue with: It “suggests that a 1 a.m. gang fight in a Sacramento restaurant, in which two were killed and two injured, is the same kind of event as a deranged man walking into a community college classroom and massacring nine and injuring nine others.”

There may be lessons for gun policy when all is said and done here. But can’t we hold off on advancing our political agendas until then?

Most Popular

Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
U.S.

Some Good News Going into the Weekend

It’s Friday -- although I know it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. You deserve a respite from yesterday’s gloom. (If you’re hungry for more gloom, there’s always the most recent edition of The Editors podcast -- and thank you, dear readers, for checking on me.) Today’s newsletter ... Read More
U.S.

Some Good News Going into the Weekend

It’s Friday -- although I know it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. You deserve a respite from yesterday’s gloom. (If you’re hungry for more gloom, there’s always the most recent edition of The Editors podcast -- and thank you, dear readers, for checking on me.) Today’s newsletter ... Read More
Science & Tech

The 41 Worst People You Meet on Twitter

Twitter, even more so than blogs, offered us the revolutionary promise of a virtual town square: You could hear from and engage with people from many walks of life, the prominent and the ordinary, in real time. You could read news as it breaks, debate the great issues of the day, and have fun. That promise ... Read More
Science & Tech

The 41 Worst People You Meet on Twitter

Twitter, even more so than blogs, offered us the revolutionary promise of a virtual town square: You could hear from and engage with people from many walks of life, the prominent and the ordinary, in real time. You could read news as it breaks, debate the great issues of the day, and have fun. That promise ... Read More