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Yes, They Do Want to Take Away Your Guns

Old conventional wisdom: we want "common-sense" gun laws. New CW: confiscation now!

Hey there, NRA:

Listen, I know the moments after a gunman opens fire in a school are hectic for you. You have to get your talking points together, you have to mentally prepare to debate a traumatized yet sensible child, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and practice saying that more guns would have made the situation less deadly. It’s a busy time! And since we are always either in the moments after or the moments before a mass shooting, you’re pretty much always busy, I have noticed!

Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I now actually do want to take your guns. All of your guns. Right now.

Of course, the NRA had nothing whatsoever to do with the latest school shooting, in which a typical loser teenage boy in a trench coat apparently managed to get a hold of his father's firearms and revenge himself on a girl who turned him down for a date, killing nine others in the process. But that doesn't matter to the gun-grabbers who, following Rahm Emanuel's dictum, never wish to let a crisis go to waste.

All along, as American life has gotten deadlier, as our kids have gotten less safe in their schools, you have had the opportunity to work with the vast majority of Americans who support the sensible reform of our gun laws. You have had the chance to preserve your own rights as we work together to keep our gun regulations in step with gun technology. You haven’t.

All along, there have been opportunities for sensible, incremental changes. This year alone, we could have banned the manufacture of bump stocks, which turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones. We could have raised the minimum age for gun ownership from 18 to 21, or instate a national minimum age for long-gun ownership. We haven’t, largely because you have bought our government. What you have done is double down. What you’ve done is convince your members that the occasional school shooting, the odd literal slaughter of innocents, is an unfortunate but inevitable quirk of American life, a thing that is necessary to preserve freedom.

Let's stop there for a moment. Let's even stipulate that we can do all of the above -- raise the legal age for gun purchases, ban bump stocks, improve background checks. None of these things would have prevented the most recent atrocity, which was committed with a shotgun and a handgun. But just as the Israelis prevent airplane hijackings by looking at the passenger, and not his belongings, so perhaps should we start treating the school-shooting problem the same way.