Which begs the question, then what are they for?

Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged that new gun laws would not “fundamentally alter” the likelihood of another mass shooting, though he insisted there has been a “sea change” in American views on guns in the wake of Newtown.

“Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to 1,000 a year from what it is now,” Biden told reporters Thursday afternoon after he spent over an hour lunching with Democratic senators at the Capitol.

But they have to act anyway, claims Biden, because of the emotion of it all.

“I’m not saying there’s an absolute consensus on all these things,” Biden said, “but there is a sea change, a sea change in the attitudes of the American people. I believe the American people will not understand — and I know that everyone in that caucus understands — they won’t understand if we don’t act.

“The visual image of those 20 innocent children being riddled with bullets has, has absolutely, not only traumatized the nation, but it has caused– like the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Credible polls don’t really back that up, even after weeks of Biden and the usual suspects on the left pushing hard to move public opinion.

Again: If these laws won’t do what they’re claimed to be intended to do, then why push them?