Every time there is a mass shooting, a chorus goes up: “We must do something to keep this from happening again. We can’t tolerate it any longer.” Revulsion understandably creates a demand for remedies. But every time, we do nothing, to the fury of those who denounce the inaction as shameful.
There is a simple explanation, though, for the inaction. It’s not that the National Rifle Association is all-powerful, that too many Americans are blind to reason or that most are complacent about wanton slaughter. It’s that there are no plausible options that offer more than the faintest prospect of preventing a massacre in the next year or the next decade.
Our constitutional framework was not designed to facilitate drastic government action. It was designed to prevent it in the absence of a clear and durable public consensus. In this instance, there is none.
Mass shootings are a horrific problem that is peculiarly resistant to solutions. To a great extent, public policy is impotent. Until the advocates of new restrictions can make the case that they would make a difference, little is likely to happen.
What answers do they offer? One is reinstituting the federal ban on “assault weapons” and …
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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)