Out of (gun) control

  • By Cal Thomas
  • Saturday, January 9, 2016 5:54pm
  • Opinion

I’m still waiting; waiting for someone to show me how laws stop a person intent on breaking them.

Daily on the roads I see people breaking speed limits despite the possibility that cameras will catch them and send a ticket in the mail.

In one of his last gasp efforts to “fundamentally change” America, President Obama is taking executive action — because he knows he never would get Congress to agree — to keep guns out of the hands of people he claims should not have them.

Stiffer background checks are supposed to achieve his goal of reducing “gun violence,” but 2015 saw a record number of background checks — and a large upsurge in gun sales — and yet people intent on breaking the law were undeterred. The two terrorists who murdered fourteen people in San Bernardino did not have criminal backgrounds until they started shooting. The massacre at a school in Newtown, Connecticut was committed by a man whose mother had legally obtained the guns.

Bloomberg reports, “A study by the Department of Justice found that just 0.7 percent of state prison inmates in 1997 had purchased their weapons at a gun show.”

“By contrast,” notes the study, “nearly 40 percent of inmates said they obtained the firearm used in their crime from family or friends, and 39 percent said they got the weapon from an illegal street source.”

As noted by many other commentators, American states and cities with the most restrictive laws are also places with some of the highest levels of crimes involving firearms. A side note: these jurisdictions are run by Democratic politicians, though the major media rarely note the connection. And the police, who feel under constant attack, have pulled back in some cities, like Baltimore, contributing to the upsurge in gun crimes by thugs who don’t think they will be caught.

As with “climate change,” “gun control” is at the bottom of peoples’ concerns. A recent Gallup Poll found “only one percent of respondents mentioned guns/gun control as a concern for most of the months in 2015.” While mentions spiked to seven percent in November and December after mass shootings in those months, “the overall average for the year was 2 percent.”

In response to the president’s announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “The President has overseen a dramatic drop in prosecutions related to the enforcement of gun laws already on the books, and his party recently voted once again to defeat a Senate measure to increase those prosecutions.” He might have added the notion that “gun-free zones” contribute to public safety is a fallacy as demonstrated by the Oregon school shooting by a man who apparently took advantage of knowing there would be no one with a gun to resist him because people at the school abided by the law and he didn’t.

This is all about politics, of course, with the president trying to shore-up the Democrat liberal base before the election and to forestall the real possibility his executive orders will be quickly reversed should a Republican become president.

It is also another display of what is at the heart of liberalism and that is that intent trumps results. Liberals are never held accountable for their failed policies, but are praised for having the right attitude, or worthy goals.

As the saying goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. For the left, they have built a multi-lane highway and the rest of us have to pay the tolls.

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

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