Well, here it comes. The Second Amendment, which is our national policy on guns, is about to come under sustained assault.
Or, maybe not. President Obama is announcing today that he is launching a new gun control task force. But he is placing Vice President Joe Biden atop it.
The last time Obama tasked the irresponsible and bombastic Biden with a specific job, it was to watch stimulus spending as the nation’s “sheriff.”
Sheriff Joe promptly laid down on the job, and according to a Washington Guardian investigation, no one was really minding where the stimulus dollars went and billions were wasted.
Here’s to hoping Sheriff Joe’s performance on gun control will be similarly vigilant. Appointing Biden to head up this task force may, in fact, be Obama’s attempt to look like he’s acting while, in reality, he isn’t. We’ll see.
The facts we’ve learned since Friday’s horrific killings point less toward gun control as a solution and more toward mental health. The shooter was known for being reclusive, as is typical of those who suffer from autism, but was not known for being violent, which is also typical of autism. The shooter’s mental state was apparently deteriorating in the months leading up to his heinous actions. His mother was reportedly working to have him involuntarily committed. It may have been his fear of being committed that caused him to snap and go on his rampage.
The firearms that he used were all legal. The Bushmaster rifle that his mother owned would not have been banned in the “assault weapons” ban that expired in 2004 and some are attempting to revive. The term, “assault weapon,” is itself primarily cosmetic. Actual automatic weapons have been banned from civilian ownership since 1934.
It may be that no policy short of total firearm confiscation could have prevented Friday’s tragedy, just as forced institutionalization of the mentally ill might have been the only mental health policy that could have prevented it. Neither of those policies is acceptable in a free society.