There’s always stiff competition in this category, but we might be looking at the dumbest anti-gun article of the year. Writing for Bloomberg News, Christoper Flavelle opines that the Second Amendment actually endangers the right to vote. He bases the article on a report produced by — surprise, surprise — a presidentially appointed commission.
That would be President Barack Obama, who told gun controllers that he is working on their pet issue “under the radar,” and who uses every tragedy that involves guns — except gang violence in Chicago, which he ignores — to try to curb Second Amendment rights.
The logic is convoluted, and rests on readers not knowing very much. Here’s the gist: There are school shootings in the country now and then. We tend to put our voting places at schools because they’re public buildings and easy to use for elections. Ergo, school shootings endanger voting.
There are problems with this argument: We haven’t had any shootings during elections. School shootings tend to be performed by students against other students or teachers. Students tend not to be at schools when voting is going on. Some schools give the kids the day off, some don’t. School shooters tend to attack when school is in session, in acts of revenge or some other similar motivation, and avoid attacking places where they’re likely to face armed resistance.
So if there’s a current problem with violence at US polling places — and there isn’t — a simple solution would be to make sure that’s an armed police officer around but not so visible that they distract or intimidate any voters. We don’t need them acting like the New Black Panthers, obviously, and we don’t need to give Eric Holder any reason to sue.
But, probably, we don’t need to do anything at all.
Like I said, it’s a stupid article.
In other words, to the many ugly consequences of America’s increasing embrace of gun rights, we can now add making it more difficult to cast a ballot. The commission proposes dealing with those concerns by sending children home on election day to keep them out of harm’s way; meanwhile, “teachers could use the day to perform administrative functions and conduct professional training.” (Some school districts, including New York City, already do so, while not necessarily citing safety as the reason.) It’s worth dwelling on the absurdity of it all: The profusion of gun violence means more U.S. communities feel compelled to weigh making voting easier against educating, and protecting, their children.
It’s worth dwelling on how clueless some in the media are.