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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

July 23, 2012 - 1:15 pm

NJ Gov. Chris Christie > NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The governor was asked by reporters at a news conference today whether the state should consider tougher gun laws, and Christie responded by essentially saying “no,” but added now is not the time to have the discussion, either.

“I am a little bit disturbed by politicians who in the immediate aftermath of this type of tragedy, try to grandstand on it, and I’m not going to be one of those people,” Christie said.

“I feel awfully for those families,” he said. “And this is just not the appropriate time to be grandstanding about gun laws. Can we at least get through the initial grief and tragedy for these families before we start making them political pawns?”

Christie went on to say that New Jersey has enough gun laws in place and that those already on the books just need to be enforced.

When tragedy strikes, the legacy media tends to 1) try to blame someone, usually someone on the right 2) try to make sense of if and 3) try to turn the tragedy into a drive to change some policy. It’s not enough for them to just report the news. They have to make news. When they asked Christie about whether the Aurora shootings should prompt tougher gun laws, those reporters were trying to make news. Brian Ross was trying to make news when he erroneously connected the shooting to an innocent man who belonged to the Tea Party. Notice that Ross didn’t go looking around occupy web sites. He went looking to create news based on his own prejudice.

Policy cannot always prevent tragedy. As much as we like to think we can control the world, the simple fact is that most of the time we don’t control squat, and never will. Nor should we. A government so powerful that it can prevent all tragedies is a government so powerful that it will stomp out liberty and life.

In the case of the theater shooting, it’s unlikely that any law would have stopped the killer save a total ban on all firearms and a total ban on ammunition sales and a total ban on anything that could possibly be used to make a bomb, along with total bans on comic books and movies made from comic books and role-playing games and video games. Might as well ban midnight movies while we’re at it. In other words, the killer might have been stopped by a ban on individuals being free to make choices.

The shooter was into the same cultural interests and activities that interest millions of others around the world, but we don’t have millions of people like the killer. We have one, and we don’t know what — other than evil — it is about him that’s different from the millions who are otherwise similar to him. We may learn that those closest to him suspected he could snap, but in the eyes of the law there were no prior arrests and nothing to indicate that he would turn into a monster. He was a little shy and awkward, as are millions of people. He was dropping out of his PhD program, as have millions of Americans before him and millions more will. There isn’t much we can do to understand the likes of the Aurora shooter. After more than 40 years behind bars, we still don’t really “understand” Charles Manson and we probably never will.

Evil is. Government policy won’t change that.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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