Before the Dust Settles in Aurora, Democrats Call for Gun Control

Posted: Jul 21, 2012 9:04 AM
The Hill reports:

A handful of Democrats are pressing for tougher gun laws in the wake of the Colorado movie theater shootings that left 12 people dead.

[Rep. Carolyn] McCarthy [D.-N.Y.] and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) have worked closely together on a bill that would tighten restrictions on gun shows, where firearms can be easily bought by people with criminal records in some states.

Lautenberg, who introduced a measure banning high-capacity ammunition magazines following the Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) shooting, also called for legislative action on the issue.

“We have to face the reality that these types of tragedies will continue to occur unless we do something about our nation’s lax gun laws,” said Lautenberg.

Democrats have long blamed the National Rifle Association for their inability to further restrict firearms in the United States. The simple fact, however, is that gun control isn't popular - and the N.R.A. is a group of citizens concerned about legislators trying to toughen restrictions despite citizens who would resist.

Time's Mike Grunwald lamented that legislators don't play on people's emotional vulnerability enough, and that "there's nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy."

This is a representative sentiment held by progressives - see former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's comment that "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste." Progressives see nothing wrong with preying upon emotional vulnerability in the wake of a tragedy, despite laws that are made that way inevitably being really, really bad law.

What responsible Americans will do is wait for the facts, allow police to investigate the roots of James Holmes senseless, tragic crimes and calmly assess the situation then. For now, it's important to let those affected in Aurora mourn and leave politics out of it.

Unsurprisingly, The Hill reports, the mayor of New York City thought he had important things to say about a tragedy that occurred thousands of miles away:

Some of the most strident comments for gun reform on Friday came from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, the co-chairmen of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group.

Bloomberg made repeated calls throughout the day for President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to firmly announce their stance on gun laws and what they would do differently if elected to the White House in November.