We still don’t know what set off Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas. The 64-year-old checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel, went to the 32nd floor, took 23 firearms with him, and proceeded to fire upon the 22,000 concertgoers below at the Route 91 Harvest music festival. It was the last night of the festival. He killed 58 people and wounded nearly 500 more. He killed himself before police breached the door to his suite.
As Democratic members of Congress prepare to push gun control again, they’re faced with the same obstacles of this increasingly stale debate over whether or not we should chip away at Americans’ constitutional rights. Paddock was independently wealthy which allowed him to buy a lot of firearms. All were purchased legally. He was no criminal history or known mental illness. So, there really isn’t much to advocate for in the legislative front, besides pushing an outright gun ban, which is unconstitutional and politically unfeasible. Senior editor at The Atlantic David Frum had a different take. Play the long game and ingrain into the national psyche that it’s dangerous to own guns, and that it makes you a bad parent to own them as well. He said this on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell Tuesday night. He was a guest on the show, along with Rep. Jackey Rosen (D-NV). Newsbusters clipped the exchange [emphasis mine]:
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: The polling shows that most Americans agree with the congresswoman on this.
DAVID FRUM: Well, I wish that were true, but I think when you face the reality, it just isn't. One of the things that we have seen over the past decade is a rising support among Americans for ever broader definitions of gun rights in exactly the way that Justice Burger warned us against. But that it where the country is.
And so it makes this -- and this is a really painful thing to say -- these technical fixes people look for, maybe if we had banned this implement or regulated that implement -- there is something very wrong with the American gun culture. Three percent of the people own 50 percent of the weapons in this country -- I mean, a tiny number of people and vast numbers of weapons.
Until you persuade people that it is just dangerous to themselves, to their children, you're not a good parent if you have a gun in the house, you're not protecting your family, you're a bad parent if you have a gun in the house, until you drill that idea into people's heads and persuade them to change the way we changed about cigarettes and seatbelts, these technical fixes aren't going to accomplish a lot. And pubic opinion -- you can make it look like it's on your side if you ask the poll question the right way, but operationally it's not.
Yeah, I’m sure that’s really going to go over well; telling Americans that they’re bad parents for exercising their constitutional right to own firearms. If anything, it will drive up sales. The firearm is an integral part of American culture and history. There is no escaping that, neither is the incessant push by liberals to blame the tens of millions (the overwhelming majority) of law-abiding American gun owners for the actions of criminals and insane people. Yet, the anti-gun Left keeps doing it, Americans still buy firearms in record numbers, and the Second Amendment stands strong. On a side note, it goes without saying: Obama was a terrific gun salesman.