The recent tragedy at Newtown has vigorously revived an apparently dormant debate. Plenty of chatterati are wagging their fingers and shaking their heads at just how obvious and simple the solution is – gun control. The President appears to agree.
Really? Fifty states are going to cede their jurisdiction over an estimated 300 million firearms (in 47% of American homes) to the President? Even if they do, what’s supposed to happen to those 300 million firearms? Are they (all) going to be confiscated? Good luck with that. (Try humming the War on Drugs Theme while you’re out there collecting.)
I’d venture that if the U.S. Administration spent 100% of its time and resources for the entire remainder of Obama’s term of office, they couldn’t make a dent in the proliferation problem. It’s a genie that ain’t going back into the bottle; not without a determined (and protracted) fight, anyway.
Guns, and the various attitudes towards them, covering everything from that of criminals’ as tools-of-work, through sportsmen hunters and onto the wacko survivalist contingent, are just too deeply ingrained in the American psyche.
No doubt, there’ll be some ‘tinkering’ on a state-by-state basis (again; not without a fight) about the kinds of weapons that can be possessed; more onerous vetting and background requirements for getting licences and some other re-positioning of the furniture to create the appearance of action. But there will remain lots and lots of guns in American homes and perhaps a newly-energized market for their exchange on a sub-legal basis.
Those folks with an inherent faith in the power of regulation will be sorely disappointed that, in their lifetimes, gun violence will continue more-or-less uninterrupted, perhaps even aggravated in fresh ‘Waco”- like incidents over the control of gun ownership. If you think the American debt problem is intractable, brace yourself for how this new initiative plays out.