Pretend Gun Control
The mood in America right now seems to be that "something" must be done about guns. Many Democrats are now openly talking about bringing back the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines ban, while they had previously shivered in fear of gun owners and the violence those heavily armed crazies commit against chads.
Of course, most of us are well aware that this "something" that will be done in the name of gun control will have pretty much no effect on whether criminals or madmen are able to get guns -- and might even make these people even deadlier. For instance, the "gun-free" school zone is a victory in disarming people in the same way that getting all countries except North Korea and Iran to destroy their nuclear weapons would be a victory in nuclear disarmament. The main fallacy of gun control theory is in not realizing that criminals, by definition, don't follow laws -- they're wily that way. Yet most gun control laws are aimed at this mythical criminal who thinks nothing of murdering people but would never dream of jaywalking. Still, people insist that we have to do something about criminals' easy access to guns, but in a country where we have over 300 million civilian-owned firearms, that's a bit like saying the American settlers shouldn't have taken this land from the Indians -- you might have a point, but that ship sailed long ago.
But people are really sure that if we pass the assault weapons ban, something useful will be done, even though it's a ban on deadly weapons in the same way that prohibiting flame decals would be a ban on fast cars. This law intending that we only get shot with non-scary-looking guns wouldn’t actually ban anything, since everything pre-ban would still be perfectly legal -- it would just cost more. Despite all the Occupy Wall Street protests about the sociopathic 1%, apparently we’ll all feel safer if only the wealthy have the ability to kill lots of people at once.
However, you can't explain this to fans of gun control legislation, as the people most fervently for it don't know anything about what they're trying to outlaw (or for that matter, human psychology, based on their frequent predictions that the wild west will break out wherever concealed carry is allowed). They hear "semi-automatic" and think "machine gun," and it's obvious that they don't even know what these gun bans do. So here's a great idea that should make everyone happy: Let's just pretend to pass gun control legislation.
What we can do is pass a law banning a bunch of made-up things that sound scary, and many gun control proponents already have great ideas along this line. For instance, I read a column in which Howard Kurtz mentioned a ban on high-magazine clips -- we can certainly do without something that nonsensical. And I've heard the press before mention armor-piercing hollow points and plastic guns (actually, I think we already banned that made-up weapon in the '80s). And as long as the NRA and Wayne LaPierre go apoplectic about it ("This ban on sorcerer-enchanted guns is just a slippery slope toward eliminating all witch-hexed weaponry!"), gun control proponents won't know the difference between this and actual gun control. And this will help protect our most vulnerable people out there: politicians. Because long after the gun control advocates move on to other things, like who they want to tax next, gun owners will still be annoyed by any actual gun control legislation. One of the greatest fears politicians have is seeing an angry guy with lots of guns charging down the street, because they know he's probably on his way to commit an act of voting.
Of course, with this idea, absolutely nothing will be done to keep criminals and madmen from obtaining guns, but that's the effect of every other gun control law, so we're just reaching this end in a much cheaper and less messy fashion. Because what are the options if we actually want to do something to make people safer? Let law abiding citizens like teachers carry in schools? That's just insane. Solving the problem of guns with more guns is just another crazy idea by those people who take that "liberty" idea to dangerous extremes and cause all the other civilized countries to make fun of us. Instead, let's get to work banning those unicorn horn-tipped bullets and feeling safer.