Friday, September 20, 2013

Shootings and Political Expediency

For weeks after the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook, we heard regular updates on how horrible it was and how something had to be done. The same was true for the shooting at the Aurora theater.

But the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC has already vanished from the headlines. I realize that killing children is more shocking that adults but this still seems callous. What happened?

I suspect that editorial decisions were made to play up the Sandy Hook story and minimize the DC shootings because of political expediency.

The Sandy Hook shooting was used to push new gun legislation. We were told that if we would just outlaw certain rifles and high capacity magazines and have more background checks then we would be safe.

The DC shooting showed how flawed this argument is. Most of the victims were killed with a shotgun and the shooter passed a background check when he bought it. Until now the line has been that politicians don't want to outlaw guns used for hunting, just ones that are too dangerous to be in the hands of regular people. The only gun control law that would have helped is one that confiscated all weapons and that would never pass.

While a tragedy, the Navy Yard shooting served no political purpose so it has already been dropped from the new cycle. We will not see any survivors from the shooting or relatives of the victims appearing with the President. It was all political posturing in order to pass measures that would not have made us safer.

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