Were we a decent society, we would allow the parents of Newtown to grieve before we started talking about taking away guns. We are not a decent society, and the ghoulish, deranged left is once again trying to use a tragedy as an opportunity.
So, as they begin their ritual descent into bathing in the blood of children about whom they wouldn't care were they just inside the birth canal, let's have the "conversation" about pretending away the Second Amendment they want. Because they want to change the law, the burden of proof lies on them; so here is the first question they must answer:
Why didn't restrictive gun control laws save the victims of Newtown?
This is what the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has to say about Connectictut's gun control regime:
Connecticut has strong gun laws that help combat the illegal gun market, prevent the sale of most guns without background checks and reduce risks to children, according to the Brady Campaign. In the organization’s 2009 state scorecards released for all 50 states, Connecticut earned 53 points out of a total of 100 and has the nation’s fourth strongest gun laws.
“Connecticut has done more than most states to combat illegal guns and has worked to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. In fact, Connecticut has a one-of-a-kind law that allows a judge to remove guns from people who have been determined to be a threat to themselves or others,” said Ron Pinciaro, President of CT Against Gun Violence.
The Washington Post -- no opponent of a disarmed citizenry -- agrees with this characterization. Connecticut "has among the most stringent gun control laws on the books," the Post notes, citing three disparate groups of experts, before allowing Connecticut's chief Democrat to explain that his state can't enforce its own laws without adult supervision.
I don't believe that we should be making domestic policy based on anecdote or on a single event. No system is properly tested in a single instance. The proof of a policy is how it performs over time -- after hundreds or thousands of events. But gun control proponents do not agree. Piers Morgan, Michael Moore, Rupert Murdoch, and many more seem to believe that the vicious and evil killings in Connecticut prove the need for more stringent gun control measures. They race to change the law in the wake of tragedies because they know that they long ago lost the policy debate and that cooler heads will reject any such regulation absent the immediate aftermath of a tragedy.
A lesser-noted detail of America's current demographics is that in the midst of an awful economic downturn, violent crime is falling. Americans recognize that gun crimes have continued to trend down as more law-abiding citizens have gotten access to firearms. So having failed to fool the people into signing onto their policies, they pretend that their ideas have been ignored -- rather than considered and rejected again and again -- and they call for a "national conversation," a term of art the Obama Administration has embraced since the beginning that translates into American English as "agree with me, or I'll regulate it anyway, democracy be damned, you idiots."
Defenders of the Bill of Rights ought to welcome that debate, one that we've been having for every year of the roughly four decades I've drawn breath on this planet. (We keep having it because the Left, like the Roman legions, refuses to admit defeat until they win.) After all, we can and will win one more time if the sense of the American people (also known to its opponents as "the gun lobby," "the Israel lobby," and so on) is allowed to prevail. But if we are to discuss the value of gun restrictions, we first need an explanation from gun control advocates of why their ideas failed the victims in Newtown.
As noted above, according to the Brady Campaign, Connecticut has the nation's fourth-strongest gun laws. The sale and possession of so-called assault weapons are banned under state law. As noted above, the state empowers judges to remove guns from those who constitute a threat. The state earns high marks for gun dealer regulation, reporting of lost or stolen guns, background checks, permit to purchase, child safety, and earns the maximum score on guns in public places.
So here's the challenge for gun control advocates: explain why you failed the people of Newtown. You cited Connecticut as a national example. You said its laws "reduce risks to children." You gave no state a higher rating for keeping guns out of public places -- like schools.
And a criminally insane man stole legally-owned guns (owned under Connecticut's regime) after being denied their legal purchase, broke in through a window, and killed children and adults -- adults who were not armed to shoot back, and so died unable to save the children who also died.
You want this one event to be a national test? Fine. Why are there 20 children dead when the state of Connecticut did what you said they should to keep their people safe?
Once you answer that question, we can get this conversation underway.
(A tip of the hat to Ben Domenech's Transom, the research assistant we all need at a price we can't beat.)