Yet while the critiques of the president’s antigun pitch are correct, they are also beside the point. Because liberal calls for gun control aren’t about keeping guns from bad guys. It’s what you talk about so you don’t have to talk about the reality of Islamist terror. And focusing on the weaponry is part of a liberal argument that dates to the Cold War, when calls for arms control were likewise used to avoid addressing the ugly reality of communism.Also at the Wall Street Journal, editorial page editor Paul Gigot talked about why this debate is wasted effort.
Understand this, and you understand why Senate Democrats reacted to San Bernardino by putting forth antigun legislation. Why the New York Times ran a gun control editorial on its front page, and the Daily News used its own cover to feature the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre underneath San Bernardino killer Syed Farook—labeling them both terrorists. And why President Obama used Sunday night’s address to whine about those resisting his call for gun measures that would not have stopped any of the shooters.
Put simply, today’s liberalism cannot deal with the reality of evil. So liberals inveigh against the instruments the evil use rather than the evil that motivates them.
Rather than talk about things like trying to identify threats from those who are mentally ill, like the Sandy Hook shooter, or terrorists like the San Bernadino shooters, they want to talk about guns. But, as McGurn concluded, I guess if I were Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, I'd probably prefer to talk about guns than the failures of the anti-terror policy of the last seven years too.