Republicans don't control the U.S. Senate and they don't have the presidency. Instead of wasting time and energy in doomed efforts to defeat President Obama's Cabinet nominees or sucking up to illegal aliens, why not focus on issues where Republicans can be off-the-charts popular while forcing Democrats into taking stupid positions?
After the slaughters at Virginia Tech, Aurora, Colo., Tucson, Ariz., and Newtown, Conn., every sentient person knows we need to do something about institutionalizing the mentally ill and -- at the very least -- keeping guns out of their hands.
That happens to be impossible right now. Involuntary commitments even for the severely psychotic went the way of vagrancy laws. Although federal law technically requires background checks to include records of mental illness, the states and mental health industry refuse to provide that information.
Of course, the vast majority of mentally disturbed individuals are not dangerous. But looking at it from the other end, more than half of all mass murder is committed by the mentally ill. Gun ownership doesn't lead to random murder rampages; mental illness does.
And the good news for Republicans is: Democrats will only pretend to support keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous psychotics, while working frantically to gut and undermine such measures. Liberals fear "stigmatizing" the mentally ill more than they fear another mass murder.
Instead of proposing serious reforms, the Democrats play politics by demonizing responsible gun owners and the Republicans who defend them.
The Democrats' gun proposals are like the joke about the drunk looking for his keys under the lamplight:
"Is that where you dropped them?"
"No, but the light's better here."
Preventing crazy people from buying guns is hard. The ACLU will sue and we'll be tied up in lawsuits for a decade, at which point a Democrat-appointed judge will rule that including records of paranoid delusions in FBI background checks is unconstitutional.
As former federal judge H. Lee Sarokin (a Clinton appointee) might say, "We should revoke their condition, not their gun permits."
The light's better over by the sane, responsible gun owners, who wouldn't hurt a fly -- unless it's a schizophrenic shooting up a shopping mall.
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