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The vast majority of the annual shooting homicides are committed by inner-city and minority youths below the age of 30. Handguns are involved in 80% of all murders. Rifles and shotguns account for less than 10% of homicides.

No matter; the National Rifle Association is now blamed for generic gun violence, especially the mass shootings at schools, even though usually no one knows of any proposed gun law — barring outright confiscation of previously purchased firearms, bullets, and clips — that would have prevented the shooters at Sandy Hook and Columbine. Gun merchants are blamed by the president while in Mexico for selling lethal semi-automatic weapons to drug cartels. But so far, the only identifiable purveyor of illegal weaponry is the president’s own attorney general, whose subordinates in the Fast and Furious operation sold hundreds of guns illegally to Mexican drug lords.

Suggestions to encourage greater incarceration of the mentally unstable, to jawbone Hollywood about its profitable (and gratuitous) gun violence, to regulate extremely violent — and extremely well-selling — video games usually fall on deaf liberal ears. In short, the stereotyped camouflaged, weekend gun enthusiast is not the problem that leads to Columbine, or the nearly 532 murders last year in Chicago. But because we can’t or won’t address the causes of the latter, we go after the former. He is not the unhinged sort that shoots a Gabby Giffords or innocents in an Aurora, Colorado, theater; but somehow is the supposed red-neck yokel that a journalist like ABC’s Brian Ross assumes does.

If the Department of Homeland Security, as is rumored, really did wish to stockpile hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition, then why did it begin such repository buying right in the middle of a hysterical national debate about limiting access to various rifles and semi-automatic weapons? Was it not to create a climate of fear and panic buying that has emptied America’s shelves of the most popular types of ammunition? If the homicide rate in Philadelphia and Chicago is any indication, murderers still have plenty of access to bullets. Those who want to target practice or shoot a varmint on their property do not.

The CIA and FBI knew of the suspicious activity of the Boston bombers, of Major Hasan, and of Anwar al-Awlaki. And they did nothing to preempt their violence. The FBI is said to be carefully avoiding monitoring mosques, although all of the above terrorists were known by many fellow Muslim worshipers to be either disturbed or extremist or both. In contrast, the NSA monitors, we are told, nearly everyone’s communications rather than focusing on Middle Eastern male Muslims, even though Middle Eastern male Muslims have been involved in the vast majority of post-9/11 terrorist plots. The NSA is the electronic version of the TSA, which feels it is noble and liberal to stop an octogenarian in a wheel chair for special frisking as proper compensation for every focused look at a West Bank resident or Pakistani visitor on his way into the United States.

The words “Tea Party” and “patriot” in a non-profit’s name would more likely earn a negative appraisal from the IRS than would “Islam” or “Muslim.” One wonders how Lois Lerner’s IRS division would treat a hypothetical “Sarah Palin Foundation” versus “The Dr. Zawahiri Charity.”