Some tragedies are impossible to comprehend. So when faced with news that a college student has senselessly gunned down 32 people, we immediately reach for the familiar.
As CNN’s Candy Crowley reported the day after the Virginia Tech killings, “We have already seen Senator Ted Kennedy on the floor yesterday saying that he thinks this means, obviously, that there are not sufficient gun control laws to stop something like this. We’ve seen Dianne Feinstein, who was really the mover and the shaker behind the assault-weapons ban, call for renewal of that ban. It expired a couple of years ago.”
These comments don’t make sense. The killer was clearly motivated and methodical. “Tougher” gun control laws wouldn’t have stopped him. Even if Virginia had a 30-, 60-, or 120-day waiting period, this murderer would have been willing to wait that long to get his guns. Plus, he did his killing with handguns. Even a total ban on assault weapons wouldn’t have slowed him down.
But gun control isn’t the only issue where the left deploys clichés to win votes. Poverty is also a familiar favorite.
Consider former Sen. John Edwards, now making his second run at the presidency. He came on the national stage in 2004 with his “Two Americas” stump speech. He pulled at our heartstrings during the Democratic convention by decrying “the very idea that in a country of our wealth and our prosperity, we have children going to bed hungry. We have children who don’t have the clothes to keep them warm.”
Edwards added that, “We can also do something about 35 million Americans who live in poverty every day. And here’s why we shouldn’t just talk about, but do something about the millions of Americans who live in poverty: because it is wrong. And we have a moral responsibility to lift those families up.” But if Edwards really believes we have a “moral responsibility” to attack poverty, what’s he personally doing to attack poverty?
Well, he’s keeping some construction workers employed. Edwards is building a 28,000-square-foot, $5.3 million estate in North Carolina. The property will have at least three residences and a pool house when it’s complete. He’ll also certainly need to hire some support staffers to maintain that property.
Oh, and he’s making some barbers and spa owners happy. According to his latest campaign-spending report, Edwards shelled out $400 for haircuts in California and New Hampshire and $248 for a salon in Dubuque, Iowa.
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