The good news is: Obama and the Senate Democrats have no intention of passing more idiotic gun legislation in response to the Newtown massacre. The bad news is that they also have no intention of passing any legislation about the mentally ill, which would actually do something to reduce these mass shootings.
Instead, the Democrats will jawbone about "assault weapons" and other meaningless gun laws for the sole purpose of scaring soccer moms into hating the National Rifle Association. Expect to hear a lot about Republicans preferring "the gun lobby" to "children." (Which is evidently not at all like preferring the teachers lobby to children.)
Democrats are hoping to pick up another dozen congressional seats in 2014, so they need terrified women.
Just don't expect a vote. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid cannot afford a vote on any of these nonsense gun laws because he needs to protect the seats of Democrats who have to get re-elected in districts where voters know something about guns.
Even the stupidest politician has to know how utterly meaningless "assault weapon" bans are. (In fairness, New York's Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and Gov. Andrew Cuomo may not know.) But Democrats need to gin up the most easily fooled voters.
"Assault weapons" are defined as "whatever politicians say they are." The guns that are banned and the ones that aren't are functionally identical. They're all semi-automatics.
Semi-automatics shoot one bullet per trigger pull -- that's the definition. Any handgun manufactured since the Civil War is a "semi-automatic." The most basic self-defense revolver for women is a "semi-automatic."
An example of a gun that is not a semi-automatic is a musket. Also those guns where a "BANG!" flag pops out when the clown pulls the trigger.
An automatic firearm -- what militaries and drug cartels have -- continuously fires when the trigger is pulled. They have been subject to a near-total federal ban in this country since the 1930s, so they're irrelevant to the discussion.
The only differences in the semi-automatics the Democrats want to ban and the ones they don't are purely cosmetic details, such as bayonet mounts or pistol grips.
When is the last time anyone was killed with a bayonet in this country? Bayonets were rarely used even during the Civil War. Obama mocked the idea of bayonets during one of his debates with Romney. Now he's terrified of them!
Semi-automatics with bayonets are some of the guns Democrats call "assault weapons." It would be like defining 12-inch hunting knives with camouflage-colored handles -- but not those with black handles -- as "assault knives." Assault weapons are the semi-automatics that look scary to soccer moms.
An example of the intentional obfuscation about semi-automatics (or "guns") is the "Violence Policy Center" webpage, which states: "Semiautomatic assault weapons are civilian versions of automatic military assault rifles (like the AK-47 and the M-16) and automatic military assault pistols (like the UZI)."
This would be like saying: "Little girls' pink bedrooms are civilian versions of military prisons (like Guantanamo) and terrorist rendition prisons (like CIA Black Sites)."
Yes, exactly alike, except the "prison" part.
Since not all Democrats get to run for office in New York, congressional Democrats can't risk taking votes on such silly laws. Your guns will be safe, but your children won't, because we'll still have the mentally ill showing up at movie theaters, subway stations, shopping malls and schools.
If soccer moms want to worry about something, they should worry more about schizophrenics than guns.
In the late 1980s, New York City Mayor Ed Koch tried to institutionalize Joyce Brown, a mentally ill heroin addict living on the street who went by the name "Billie Boggs" (after local television host Bill Boggs). Brown was defecating on herself, removing all her clothes, burning money, running into traffic and shouting obscenities at passers-by. In other words, she was a prototype for Occupy Wall Street.
Brown's family desperately wanted to have Brown committed to Bellevue Hospital. A Columbia psychiatrist argued for her institutionalization. The neighbors supported her commitment.
But the New York Civil Liberties Union wanted Brown back on the street. Her NYCLU attorney, Robert Levy, boasted that "Billie Boggs" was as sane as "a member of the board of the Civil Liberties Union."
A New York judge, Robert Lippman, agreed –- but not the way I do. Instead of ordering the entire NYCLU board institutionalized, he ordered the release of this poor, mentally disturbed woman. She promptly spoke at Harvard. (Princeton already had Peter Singer.) Then she was back on the street, taking heroin and getting into fights with other homeless people.
Schizophrenics are generally incapable of knowing they need help. Without involuntary commitment, they are abandoned to the streets, getting beaten up, sexually abused, stolen from and set on fire. They also sometimes push people onto subway tracks, murder grandmothers, slaughter firemen and enter "gun-free zones" to commit mass murder.
But the Democrats won't do anything about it. Even if you do not hear voices that tell you to kill strangers, liberals say: "Either we are all mad or none of us is mad." Then they get mouthy about banning guns with bayonets. On which they will not vote. Montana's Sen. Max Baucus has to get re-elected.