For cranky right-wingers who think politicians don’t listen to them, this week I give you elected Democrats running like scared schoolgirls from the media’s demand that they enact new gun control laws in response to the Virginia Tech shooting.
Instead, Democrats are promoting a mental health exception to the right to bear arms. We’ve banned mass murder and that hasn’t seemed to work. So now we’re going to ban mass murderers. Yes, that will do the trick!
This is a feel-good measure that is both wildly under-inclusive (the vast majority of nutcases receive no formal court adjudication of their nuttiness) and wildly over-inclusive (the vast majority of nuts don’t kill people.) The worst thing most nuts do is irritate everybody else by driving their electric cars on the highway.
As lovely as it would be, we cannot identify mass murderers before they have broken any law, and mass murder is often the first serious crime they commit. No one can be locked up permanently for being potentially dangerous.
Even stalking laws can put away a person known to be dangerous for only a few years — at best — which is generally not worth spending a day sitting in court, facing your stalker, and then waiting a month for the court order.
So on one hand, the mental health exception is a feel-good measure that would be largely pointless. But on the other hand, it’s no skin off my back. Liberals go to therapy. Conservatives go to church. And I think we’d all sleep better knowing that David Brock could not buy a gun.
In fact, I think we should expand the mental illness exception to cover First Amendment rights as well as Second Amendment rights.
I note that before mass murder, the only harassment the Virginia Tech killer was guilty of involved speech: creepy e-mails, creepy short stories, creepy phone calls. Stalkers, too, engage in frightening speech — but that is protected. Revealing a stalking victim’s address is "speech" but is little different from being the one to pull the trigger.
This small measure would have taken Dan "What’s the Frequency, Kenneth" Rather off the airwaves years ago, preventing him from presenting doctored National Guard documents to the American people to try to throw a presidential election. A mental illness bar would deal a quick blow to Air America and both its remaining listeners. It would also free up about 90% of the Internet.
And it would end the public lunacy of Jim Wallis, the Democrats’ Christian. Wallis’ first remark on the massacre at Virginia Tech last week was to hail the remarkable "diversity" of the victims. True, Cho murdered 32 people in cold blood. But at least he achieved diversity!
Anyone who thinks a single-minded fixation on diversity must be the ultimate goal of every human endeavor, including mass murder, is not the sort of person who should be able to buy a gun or to publish his daft ruminations in public forums.
But just to get this straight: Democrats are saying we should be able to jail "strange" or "angry" people, but we can’t deplane imams who demand extra-length seatbelts after boarding?
Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed the public expressions of shame and contrition from the Korean-American community after the Virginia Tech shooting? Of course, no one blames this exemplary community for the actions of one nut. The Koreans are manifestly law-abiding and decent — nipping at the heels of Italians as the greatest Americans and tied for second with the Cubans.
Indeed, I believe this marks the first time a Korean has killed anyone in the United States, not involving an automobile. Nonetheless, Korean congregations, community groups and the family members themselves are issuing statements of sorrow. Not "pleas for tolerance." But sorrow. Remorse. Remember those? They were big back in the day.
If the Koreans can do it, why can’t the Muslims? What explains the lack of a Muslim guilt impulse — so normal, as seen in the case of the saddened Koreans — after dozens of terrorist attacks on Americans?
How about a Muslim exception to the Second Amendment? That would have prevented the Virginia snipers from killing 10 people within three weeks in 2002. But most important: It would help us achieve "diversity" in our gun law prohibitions.