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Politics: AP: Too bad that old assault weapon ban was 'widely regarded as imperfect'

Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday December 20th, 2012

Dan Calabrese

By DAN CALABRESE - In other words, it didn't do a damn bit of good.

It's too bad the do-something-just-for-the-sake-of-doing-something movement eventually has to give way to the issue of exactly-what-it-is-you-do. And that's when we remember that we've tried all this before, and it didn't work - a fact even the AP can't deny:

One early focus of new gun regulations by President Barack Obama and some lawmakers would reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons, a law widely regarded as imperfect.

The ban, which existed for 10 years until 2004, would have made it illegal for the young gunman in Connecticut to buy the type of 30-round magazines that allowed him to shoot so many elementary school students before he reloaded. But the ban and other U.S. gun laws wouldn't have prevented his mother's purchase of the powerful assault rifle or the especially deadly ammunition that he used to kill 26 people.

A generation of U.S. gun laws - and the inherent compromises intended to balance constitutional gun rights and public safety - reflects the intricacies of applying government policy to stem acts of mass violence.

That is beautiful. The "intricacies of applying government policy to stem acts of mass violence." In other words, there is no government policy that can prevent utter madmen from commiting acts of mass evil once they become determined enough to do so. Point this out, of course, and you invite the rejoinder, "So you just advocate doing nothing?"

And here's what's interesting about that question. If you consider it "doing nothing" to reject government policy as the likely avenue toward a solution, what does that say about how you look at things? Apparently you think a tree doesn't fall in the forest unless the government chops it down.

Besides, I already told you what I think needs to be done. If you don't like my suggestion because there's no way to elect a politician and tell him to go make it happen, that's your problem.