April 10, 2013

JAMES TARANTO: Blather, Rinse, Repeat: Obama perseverates again. Meanwhile, cops don’t think much of his antigun ideas. “Obama’s speech, at once demagogic and pathetic, reminded us of Mayor Michael Nutter’s efforts to censor a different kind of magazine, which we noted last month. Like Nutter, Obama is seeking to restrain law-abiding individuals from exercising their constitutional rights in ways the liberal left disapproves. And like Nutter’s effort, Obama’s is unlikely to succeed.”

UPDATE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes:

Over time, I’ve read opinion pieces in which the writer ponders the question of why Obama persists in pushing gun-control legislation: Is he sincere and actually believe his own BS, or is it simply to gin up his base? Well, probably both. But the real issue continues to be that guns have taken center stage in an ongoing cultural war. In particular, any legislation passed will be something to defend against the depredations of the cultural other. Look at the distorting effects of Roe v Wade over the years. In how many venues have supporters of abortion rights amplified criticism of the decision into a general assault to be resisted at all costs.

From this point forward, criticism of any control legislation will be demagogued; the critic painted as one indifferent to the murder of children.

The best reason for unyielding opposition to any of the legislation being contemplated is that the legislation is terrible on its face – even failing to address the advertised concerns of those supporting it. However, running a close second to that reason is this: Nothing is to be gained and much is to be lost by appeasing those who simply dislike you. They will continue to dislike you, and all that they think you represent, regardless.

Indeed.