Eleanor Clift has an article today on AOL Politics entitled Gun Control After Arizona: Will NRA Block High Ammo Clip Ban. For now, let's ignore the use of the term "clip" for what are properly known as "magazines." Unlike some of my fellow bloggers, I suspect misusing terms like this is designed to show the writer is hip and in the know to the target audience who doesn't know any better. Such writers will also use terms like "packing heat" for carrying a weapon. It is ignorant, and doesn't represent the sort of people who carry every day that I know.
Ms. Clift is a long time leftist writer who is carrying water for Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, for Senator Lautenburg, and for Paul Helmke. Whenever there is an incident, these people try to take advantage of it, and it is disgusting. These people take the tragic deaths of people they don't even know, and use them to advance an agenda that won't truly solve the problem they say they want to solve. A proper discussion would point out that the number of high capacity magazines already out there means that if Loughner or indeed any criminal wanted to get one, he could. The threat of yet another ban on guns or magazines, or ammunition sent huge crowds to the gun show yesterday here in Raleigh. If I didn't know better, I would be suspicious that McCarthy had a hidden interesting in a gun manufacturer. A truly proper discussion would include the fact that the only people affected by laws are those that are following the law. The more unjust the law, the more people will ignore it, and the less legitimate the authorities will seem. But a truly proper discussion of the issue would focus not on the tools the murderer chose to use, but on the man himself.
For example, it should have been illegal for Mr. Loughner to obtain a gun from a dealer. I have seen reports that Loughner obtained the weapon "legally." That may be technically true, but the fact is that Loughner was, to put it in technical terms, absolutely moonbat nuts. Even worse, he may have committed crimes that should have raised red flags. After the Virginia Tech incident, Senator Lautenburg championed a bill that would make people with mental health issues prohibited persons. That bill was signed into law, and instantly made many returning veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and other complications of war unable to obtain a weapon here at home, all without due process. So how did Loughner slip through? Why didn't the State of Arizona have Mr. Loughner on the prohibited list for an NICS? Why wasn't he being treated by a psychiatrist, who had given his name to authorities?
Yet somehow we always circle back to "it's the gun's fault. If we could just get rid of guns." It is the instrumentality theory of crime; that if you take away the tools, the criminal is helpless. But people were killing people before guns were invented, before steel was discovered, before man learned how to make bronze, before primitive man learned how to chip flint to make a blade. Then it was sharpened sticks, or pieces of bone and antler, or just a rock. On the other hand, Loughner could have gone up to Congresswoman Giffords and shaken her hand while carrying a BAR, and no one would have died had not Loughner had murder in his heart. It is the man, always the man and his intentions.