September 19, 2013

JAMES TARANTO: Tired Guns: This time the “debate” is desultory and meta.

A few days after last year’s massacre at Newtown, Conn., we observed: “Every time one of these horrible shooting sprees occurs, countless voices in the media declaim that (1) we need a debate on gun control, and (2) the other side’s views are despicable, stupid and unworthy of consideration.” It’s happening again, in reaction to Monday’s murders at the Washington Navy Yard. But it’s strikingly muted by comparison with the post-Newtown frenzy. . . .

Antigun extremists are exhausted and demoralized. Newtown filled them with rage, which was understandable, but the direction in which they turned it–against lawful gun owners and defenders of the Second Amendment–was not. The effort to incite a moral panic was largely a failure, and nobody seems to have the energy to try it again.

They could try presenting reasoned arguments instead of emotional bullying, if they had any to present. The real problem is that the country is closer to the NRA than to Obama.