Never let a crisis go to waste

Rahm Emanuel famously quipped “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste“, and like clockwork some politicians are taking his advice.  Earlier today tragedy struck Newtown Connecticut when a gunman massacred 20 elementary school students and already  Democrats are capitalizing by pushing for more stringent gun control:

(Politico) — In the wake of the deadly Connecticut school shooting, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy said she has warned the White House “the gloves are off” if President Obama fails to act on the issue.

McCarthy (D-N.Y.), the foremost gun control advocate in Congress, said she spoke with White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew before Election Day and told him she will exert pressure on the White House to push for gun control legislation.

“I said, ‘Jack, I know the president is going through an election and I’m telling you after the election I’m coming out full force,’” McCarthy told POLITICO Friday. “I was just giving the White House a heads up that the gloves are off on my side and I was going to do everything I possibly could. … If that meant embarrassing everybody, that’s what I would do.”

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) — “Today’s shooting was a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. Our hearts ache for the victims and their families. While we don’t know why this attack took place, it is an attack on education, on public safety and on our children.

“For those of us outside the direct impact of this tragedy, our mourning turns into a search for ways to ensure that these shootings do not continue to happen.

“There is an undercurrent of violence in our society that is becoming more powerful. Whenever it surfaces it brings great tragedy and we pray: never again. But ‘never again’ keeps happening. Malls, schools, movie theaters; these murders attack our sense of community.

It is long past time that we take an organized approach to addressing the violence in our society and that is exactly what the proposal for a cabinet level Department of Peace is all about. We must reject violence and take an organized approach to averting violence.”

(Politico) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t satisfied with President Obama’s promise Friday to take “meaningful action” to prevent future mass shootings.

“[T]he country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem – and take immediate executive action,” he said in a statement in his capacity as co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We have heard that rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the president and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response. My deepest sympathies are with the families of all those affected, and my determination to stop this madness is stronger than ever.”

[…]

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Bloomberg’s fellow co-chair, said he is “overcome with both grief and outrage” after the shooting and called for more to be done.

“As a mayor who has witnessed too many lives forever altered by gun violence, it is my responsibility to fight for action,” he said. “Today’s tragedy reminds us that now is the time for action. Innocent children will now never attend a prom, never play in a big game, never step foot on a college campus. Now is the time for a national policy on guns that takes the loopholes out of the laws, the automatic weapons out of our neighborhoods and the tragedies like today out of our future.”

(National Journal) — [President Barack Obama] As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago–these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.

(Daily Caller) — [NY Governor Andrew Cuomo] “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the innocent victims – many of whom were young children – whose lives were claimed by this senseless and horrific act of violence.

[…]

While we don’t have all the facts and our focus must be on the victims, this is yet another senseless and horrific act of violence involving guns. We as a society must unify and once and for all crack down on the guns that have cost the lives of far too many innocent Americans,” he said. “Let this terrible tragedy finally be the wake-up call for aggressive action and I pledge my full support in that effort.”

(Washington Times) — A veteran Democratic lawmaker believes the nation will go along with stronger gun control laws if President Obama “exploits” the Newtown, Conn., tragedy and nudges Congress to action.

[…]

“These incidents, these horrible, horrible incidents … are happening more and more frequently. And they will continue to happen more and more frequently until someone with the bully pulpit, and that means the president, takes leadership and pushes Congress,” [Rep. Jerrold]  Nadler said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz.

Mr. Nadler was asked whether the Newtown tragedy could be the turning point in many Democrats’ longstanding struggle to enact stronger gun laws.

I think we will be there if the president exploits it, and otherwise we’ll go on to the next” incident, Mr. Nadler said.

(Fox News Insider) — [Attorney General Eric Holder] “As a nation I think we have to ask ourselves some hard questions. We gather too often to talk about these kinds of incidents. We need to discuss who we are as a nation, talk about the freedoms that we have, the rights that we have and how those might be used in a responsible way.

These are merely the immediate reactions by Democrat politicians, there will be many more.  And this doesn’t even begin to chronicle the news personalities and liberal talk shows joining in to grasp the opportunity to decry the evils of guns.  Does anyone else notice the mention of the millions of gun owners who didn’t go on a murderous rampage today conveniently absent from their talking points?

I’m not without perspective on this.  I am the father of two young girls, the youngest of which is in elementary school, and this event has been quite sobering.  I wouldn’t have thought it too much to ask that 28 deaths no be used as political fodder.

PS:

The POS of the day award goes to David Frum

Comments

  1. Don’t worry. The politicians start talking about gun control after every massacre. They won’t do anything.

  2. If you ban handguns then people will start killing with rifles and shotguns. Or, they’ll start buying illegal handguns. The government is never going to stop it.

    Since Nixon, we’ve wasted billions of dollars on the so-called War On Drugs, and what have we accomplished? Nothing. I could drive 10 minutes right now and buy an eight-ball if I wanted. I know exactly where do go, and they’re always stocked up.

    Corporations have wasted millions, maybe billions, trying to combat software and media piracy. But guess what? It still happens often, everyday.

    The same would be true for guns. You’re never going to stop them. Liberal-progressives, however, live in fantasyland.

    • T

      Not only that, in England where there has since been a complete ban on guns, to the point where their beat cops don’t even carry them, knife assaults have risen exponentially. So much so that they are creating knife legislation with stiff penalties for carrying knives. So let’s just say they are successful in getting guns off the street and out of the hands of criminals and the law abiding alike, do people really think violent crime goes away?

  3. I second your thoughts on this matter, John. It’s absolutely horrific and I’m not up to thinking about the politics of it right now.

  4. “Does anyone else notice the mention of the millions of gun owners who didn’t go on a murderous rampage today conveniently absent from their talking points?”

    If millions of nuke owners wouldn’t go on a murderous rampage, could I get a nuke?

  5. @John

    Does your Constitution guarantee your right to get a gun?
    The same for a nuke.

    “do people really think violent crime goes away?”

    Silly question.
    Violent crime doesn’t go away, but reducing power lessens the outcome.
    Do you think there would be the same casualties with a knife attack?
    I have better chances while unarmed to survive to a knife attack than to a gun attack.

    Introducing more powerful weapons doesn’t improve self-defense. On the contrary, it’s worse. It doesn’t only improve defense but also attack, and the attacker has the initiative and will preffer to attack you while unarmed.

    The same for a big knife vs. small knife.

    • Isu

      In parts of the country where legal gun ownership is high, there is much less violent crime. Look at Chicago which practically has a gun ban, it’s very difficult to get a permit and they suffer from record numbers of murders.

  6. It bothered me that they would immediately go to the airwaves with the gun-control message, but it’s just because it’s too soon. Let’s give people time to deal with the tragedy. Undoubtedly, one of the murdered children’s mom or dad has opposite views on the subject. They don’t need to hear about it from the president or any other public figure. They should be only offering condolences for a while.

    That being said, their gun control message is just their idea of a possible solution. I get it. “If there weren’t any guns…”, they say. And they’re right! If there were no guns, this wouldn’t have happened.

    But guns exist. And bad guys can get them. Make all the laws you want. Gather up all the guns in America and melt them down. One could go across the border to Mexico and get one… Or fifty. Bad guys break rules.

    The answer is: more guns. One trained teacher with a gun might have been able to stop this guy. Maybe not from killing any people, but from killing as many as he did.

    It’s silly to call it a “gun-free zone”. Sadly, the school in CT was a one gun zone yesterday. The bad guy broke the rule. Someone with equal or greater firepower should have been there to enforce the rule.

    At every federal building, there is a rule: No guns allowed. But they also have a team of folks WITH guns! It’s not enough to just have the rule, and they know it! Why is it only schools that don’t have the extra level of protection?

    We can’t make every school a walled fortress with razor wire and key card access points. It’s too expensive. But, we could train and arm one out of every ten teachers. The teachers in CT did everything they could to protect their students. I think that they would have been able to protect them further had they the necessary resources.

    To be clear, though this happened in a school, this particular event could have happened anywhere. The gunman’s mother just happened to work at a school. Had his mother worked with me, he would have been met at the front desk by a big guy wearing a bullet-proof vest and a piece.

    Of course, they’re politicizing this event. So am I. We have to argue the merits of gun control. And this terrible event gives every side things to look at.

  7. I wonder how many Americans-who previous to any ban were law abiding citizens-these crusaders will be willing to kill to enforce their ban?

  8. @John
    I haven’t seen that Chigago had a practically gun ban.

    @conservative2cents
    “more guns” is not the answer, it is a cause of such slaughter.

    According to information, Adam Lanza took his mother’s guns which were easily at hand.
    Do you tell me that Adam Lanza could go to Mexico, get one and get back easily?
    Yes, “Bad guys break rules.”, and the easier you let them to break the rules, the easier they do bad.
    The more guns, the more likely such things happen.

    “Someone with equal or greater firepower should have been there to enforce the rule.” Someone but not anyone. In my country this one is one from security forces. If you let anyone to have a gun, greater firepower breaks down. We don’t want security forces to be equal to bad guys, we want them to be superior.

    In my country we have a saying: “Guns are loaded by the Devil”.

    • Isu

      Google Chicago gun laws. Also, you have no idea if Lanzas guns we easily accessible or if he forced his mother to get them from a secure location. You and other want to make it sound like they were locked and loaded just laying about. You don’t know that to be true.

  9. John

    I have looked and there is no practical gun ban. If I were an Illinois resident I could easily get a gun.

    • Illinois is different from Chicago. The city has different laws and fees and the length of time it takes to approve a city permit is for all intents and purposes, an imposition.

  10. It’s the same for Chicago.
    If I were a Chigago resident I coud easily get a gun. With more requirements but still easy.
    There is not practical gun ban: I wouldn’t be banned to get a gun.

    • You miss the point Isu, its not an official ban, but it could take months to get approved. There was a city in my state which took 9 months before the local PD would approve a permit, and that was only after an interview process. Its a procedural, foot dragging, hoop jumping process which makes it difficult to get a permit.

  11. Speaking of Chicago over twice as many people are murdered in Chicago every month and we see none of the outrage. Chicago is and has been a a city governed by democratic machine politicians for years. Coupled with the virtual gun ban, what are we to think. Hypocrisy on the left?

  12. John.
    You are telling me now not about Chicago, but about a city in your state.
    Are you telling me about a singular case or a regular one? Was the delay procedural?
    Too little data to jump into conclussions.

    • I’m telling you about how cities institute obstacles in the way of its citizens from obtaining permits. Sure the law allows for it, but actually getting it is another thing altogether.

      The town I am talking about it wasn’t an anecdote, the town’s police dept didnt think the citizens should should be carrying guns, and so they devised internal bureaucratic procedures to hinder the process. I know because I worked there at the time.

  13. John.

    Then, it was police department fault and not law fault.
    No wonder they thought citizens shouldn’t be carrying guns. They wanted superior firepower to criminals.

  14. But, for example, criminal’s mothers do, giving easy access to them.
    Have you heard about Adam Lanza?

    • Of course Ive heard of Lanza, the shooting was only 40 or so miles from my home. He didn’t have access to the guns. He acted illegally to obtain them. Here’s the thing, there were already laws in place to prevent him from getting guns. To name a few:

      you must be 21 to own or have firearms, he was 20

      it is illegal to steal guns, he killed his mother and stole guns

      it is illegal to carry guns without a permit, he carried them without a permit.

      these are only a few of the laws he broke. Are you saying that if we had stricter gun laws he would have obeyed the laws? His mother was a victim. She obeyed the law, the criminal didnt, which is why theyre called crimianls

  15. I wonder if John and his fellow cheerleaders will be going to Newton CT to either counter-protest Westboro Baptist and Fred Phelps or if you will be going to tell them tnhat they are wrong about their interpretation of the bible. Or, god for bid, going to join the protest because you feel that this was part of god’s plan and a result of our devious ways. Will you be sending them a crass email telling them that they are politicizing this tragedy?

    • Nash

      You know, theres no need for you to always be so nasty here.

      Anyway, I had heard they were going to be up there even though it wasn’t on their schedule (I checked). When is their planned protest, I might go.

  16. “Are you saying that if we had stricter gun laws he would have obeyed the laws?”

    With stricter gun laws, and a so law obedient mother, she wouldn’t have had guns, and thus he wouldn’t have that easy to stole them.

    “She obeyed the law, the criminal didnt, which is why theyre called crimianls”

    Sure, and if there is no law, there is no crime.
    So make legal to have firearms at 20, take guns from others, carry guns without a permit, and shoot down people, and he won’t be a criminal.

    • I’m not concerned with whether or not Lanza is considered to be a criminal in acquiring the guns. After he killed a bunch of people, does it really matter? Only to point out that the laws do not stop crazed gunmen. Another gun would have.

      The principal of the school tried to stop him. Brave woman. I wish that rushing him unarmed wasn’t her only option. Had she been able to retreat to retrieve a gun, she would have had a better chance to stop the violence.

      It’s just as in war. The way to stop an agressor is to render him unable to continue. You must conquer peace.

      Does it really matter how he got the guns? What do we do, once a bad guy HAS the gun?

  17. Murphy’s Law of Combat: If the enemy is in range, so are you.

  18. “Does it really matter how he got the guns?”

    Of course it does, thanks to the “more gun” politics.

    If teachers have guns, it is easier for crazed student gunmen to get them (not to mention crazed teachers). And it also makes accidents due to lack of care more likely to happen.

    You can’t be a crazy gunman without guns, in fact.

    If you give more gun access, you not only give access to the defender but also to the attacker, and it’s worse to the defender because the attacker has the initiative.

    In my country, with a “low gun” politics, these sort of massacres are less likely to happen.

    • Switzerland has very low numbers of gun crime. They also have mandatory gun ownership due to their need for a militia. Most homes there have at least one gun. At the very least, the high gun ownership and low gun violence are correlated. I think it’s more than a correlation.

  19. While a trip to CT to counter protest the Phelps morons is not a realistic option for me, I’ve had run ins with them before and have no problem doing so again if given the opportunity.

  20. @conservative2cents

    Switzerland has very low numbers of general crime.
    But high gun ownership and high gun violence are correlated. It’s not that having a gun makes you criminal, but that criminals have a better tool to perform crime.
    Example: Zug massacre in (oh!) Switzerland. This would be practically impossible in Spain since here assault rifles are fully banned for citizens (apart from that there already were more weapon controls in such places).

    • Isu

      Are you saying that if thee were a ban on assault rifles that IF someone wanted to procure one, they would not be able to?

      I dont know if it’s naivety or wishful thinking on the part of gun control advocates, but banning guns or certain guns doesn’t mean they cannot be obtained.

  21. John.

    “Are you saying that if thee were a ban on assault rifles that IF someone wanted to procure one, they would not be able to?”

    I’m saying that banning and monitoring assault rifles prevent most people from getting one and reduce the risk of being death by one of them.

    Do you think that in Spain none wants an assault rifle?
    Do you think that if I want an assault rifle for fun, punishment if caught won’t draw me back?
    Do you think that it is easy to get an assault rifle in Spain?

    You are introducing the same argument than “pro-choicers”. Banning abortion doesn’t mean they cannot be obtained.
    Banning killing people doesn’t mean it cannot be done, banning thieving doesn’t mean it cannot be done, and so on.

  22. John.

    You have the false idea that having a gun will protect you. On the contrary.

    If I were to rob a house in Spain, I know that probably the inhabitants won’t have a gun and because of that and that they don’t have the right to kill me, I could go unarmed or armed with a knife just to self defense in case they turn up and attack me.

    If I were to rob a house in USA, I know that probably the inhabitants will have a gun and that they have the right to kill me, I would go with a gun and would be easy trigger if somebody turns up, better to shoot than be shooted down.

  23. Isu, the fact that you think that fighting off the owners of a home that you have broken into speaks volumes about how you look at this. The statistics in the US indicate the in fact guns are often used for self defense, in fact merely producing a gun in certain circumstances is enough to deter some criminals.

    A few random thoughts about the CT situation.

    It’s strange that the left’s solution to this sort of thing is to restrict those who don’t break the law.

    A 12 gauge pump shotgun would have been much more lethal than what Lanza used.

    We will not look at the possible effects Lanza’s parents divorce might have had

    We will not look at the possible effects of 1st person shooter games on Lanza.

    We will not look at the effects of the popular (esp rap) culture that glorifies the kinds of weapons and violence we’ve seen recently.

  24. Craig, the fact is that you keep ignoring the other side of the coin. In that hypothetical situation I would use the gun for self defense, “as are often used”. If you have easy access to guns so criminals have.

    “It’s strange that the left’s solution to this sort of thing is to restrict those who don’t break the law.”
    It’s strange that RPGs are restricted to those who don’t break the law.
    “A 12 gauge pump shotgun would have been much more lethal than what Lanza used.”
    Lanza used what he had easily at hand. Did his mother have one in her arsenal?
    “We will not look at the possible effects Lanza’s parents divorce might have had”
    Possible, not necessary.
    “We will not look at the possible effects of 1st person shooter games on Lanza.”
    I play 1st shooter games and don’t go crazy. Even if I would, I wouldn’t have practical access to real guns. And in 1st person shooters you don’t go to kill civilians.
    “We will not look at the effects of the popular (esp rap) culture that glorifies the kinds of weapons and violence we’ve seen recently.”
    Ignoring the popular culture of having guns.

  25. Isu
    ,I’m not ignoring anything, the statistics in the US are pretty clear that guns are used in self defense frequently. Even more than that a significant number of crimes are deterred simply by the sight of a weapon. It’s kind of hard to ignore the facts on this.

    Your RPG example is silly. No one is suggesting that RPG’s, artillery, flamethrowers, fully automatic weapons or anything else be made available on the open market. So, this is not even a credible response.

    My point about the 12 gauge pump is that this is a plentiful, legal, easily obtainable, relatively noncontroversial, firearm. Which would have been at least as effective as what was used. The problem is it’s not an “assault weapon” therefore it wouldn’t fit the narrative. Further the whole “assault weapon narrative is ridiculous, given that the factors that make an assault weapon are purely cosmetic and have nothing to do with function.

    In the US we live in a society where people get divorced for the most trivial of reasons, and this “right” is beloved by the left. Therefore, it also doesn’t fit the narrative and won’t be considered as a possible cause for Lanza’s issues.

    Somehow because you play 1st person shooter games, you feel confident in extrapolating your experience to every player of these games worldwide. Of course the same argument can be made regarding guns. Tens of millions of gun owners live in the US without ever committing any sort of gun crimes. But because 1% or .01% or whatever of guns get used criminally we’ve got folks who want ban them all.

    Maybe you are unfamiliar with US “culture”, so I will excuse you not understanding how pervasive the rap/drug/gun culture is and how it is glorified.

  26. Isu,

    Actually it is strange that certain law abiding citizens who go through a more stringent screening and licensing process are allowed to own things like machine guns, and other actually military arms. Shockingly we never hear about these folks shooting up anything but targets.

  27. Craig

    You also ignore the number of crimes performed simply by the sight of a weapon.

    Are you sure no one wants a RPG in the open market? I doubt so.

    Your point is pointless because Lanza couldn’t purchase legal weapons on his own. He stole his mother’s ones, which were at hand.

    Here divorce is also easily available, but … would “no-divorce” prevent parent’s separation? I don’t think so.

    You introduced the “1st person shoot gamer” as a possible cause and know you are making the same argument to “gun owners”. Note that.
    But, once again, you mistake my argumentation. I’m not saying that “gun owning” or “1st person shoot gaming” drives you crazy. I’m saying that one who goes crazy can’t real kill with an imaginary gun, whereas can real kill with a real gun.

    Well, I don’t understand that about rap/drug/gun culture. We have also cultural gangs and fortunately they haven’t easy access to guns.

    No wonder that a more stringent screening and licensing makes these things less likely: more control and less people.
    Didn’t know USA citizens could own machine guns.

  28. I was just thinking about another violent crime: battery. Everyone has fists. The bad guys use them to do bad things. Good guys don’t use them at all, unless they have to stop a bad guy.

    Wouldn’t it be the same thing if everyone carried a gun? The difference would be that every scrawny weakling good guy would have an equal footing against the burliest bad guy.

    I’m about 5’9″ and 140 pounds. AND I can handle a .45. Let’s level the playing field with fewer gun restrictions.

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