December 18, 2012

(Paul J. Richards/Getty Images)

The bunker walls are shored up, and PostScript has taken two self-defense measures she found on the Internet from the realms of science and history. One: building a giant decoy version of herself to go around next to her and frighten predators, and two: this amazing helmet which kept Henry VIII alive. It’s Assault Weapons Ban Day here on The Post Opinions page, and she’s ready. 

Oddly enough, however, the Editorial Board, Eugene Robinson, Michael Gerson, Dana Milbank and Jennifer Rubin all opine on today’s page that an assault weapons ban would be an acceptable step. They offer more solutions; Milbank argues that the iron will never be hotter. Pro-gun Democrats signal willingness to work for an assault weapons ban, and general American horror at last Friday’s shootings is overpowering general American love for fast, powerful guns. Today.

There is likewise an amazing comity in the comments sections on all these posts. It’s not that anti-gun-control citizens have changed their minds; it’s that pro-gun-control posters are more adamant than usual. Milbank is right, according to this very small survey. The anti-gun-control arguments run from arming teachers (for what it’s worth, PostScript’s elementary-school-teaching housemate told her she’d quit before being forced to carry a gun) to regulations being useless because in the future everyone will be able to make his or her own Kalashnikov anyway. 

So, for posterity, in case this united front dissipates with time: The mostly concurrent, cross-column commentariat of December 18, 2012:

[From Gerson]:
boblesch

Maybe if the next massacre occurs on K st. – we’ll get some positive legislation for a change.

ericcallenking

A smart gun with an integrated gps unit that wouldn’t fire in sensitive zones would solve the problem, an alternative would be a disabling feature in the gun that would be triggered by passing a electronic barrier, a technology familiar to some dog owners as the invisible fence, either would work, the smart gun is preferable, Apple could get together with gun makers and have the new I-guns available fairly quickly, no doubt as all the tech is there it just needs to be brought together. We could make guns a more effective less lethal tool, that it wouldn’t fire without fingerprint recognition unlock by the owner would prevent all kinds of unfortunate incidents, including the gun being used against the owner, and the smart guns electronic disabling feature failsafe would eliminate the black market in guns.

[From Robinson]

phildecarp

Americans have to cast off their learned despair regarding this issue. Not so long ago, it was impossible to go into most public establishments without being assaulted by cigarette smoke. People thought nothing of having a few drinks at the local watering hole and driving home. Children bounced around loose in the backseats of cars. Now we are free from the dangers of second-hand smoke, deaths as the result of DUIs have dropped by half and you can’t get your newborn out of the hospital w/o proving that you’ve got a child car seat. Banning certain types of guns, ammo & accessories, requiring training and licensing as well requiring secure storage are all steps that will help reduce the harm to innocent victims. Americans are reasonable people, they will support reasonable solutions if we make a concerted effort to counter NRA propaganda and our leaders start leading on this issue.
An excellent way to get the ball rolling would be to repeal the protection from tort lawsuits that gun manufacturers currently enjoy. I like the democratic and do-it-yourself nature of class action lawsuits. That’s how the tobacco companies finally got nailed for their evil ways.

Sanchos_

Don’t wait on congress to act. As a gift to the United States of America everyone should turn in their assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to your nearest police station on Christmas Morning. I am sure the kind officers there will accept them.

njglea

Ban the sale and use of ALL repeat-shot guns and ammunition clips with over five shots. People do not need assault rifles and other machines of mass murder for protection or hunting.

boblesch

Bushmaster is currently owned by one of the planet’s largest private equity firms.  The only reason they are allowed to sell to the general public is because our government officials get campaign and ‘other’ contributions funneled through our friends on K st. It’s all about money and making sure that those with an abundance of wealth can keep increasing their wealth no matter what the cost is for the rest of us.  
 
The risk of weapons designed for combat distributed within the population far outweighs any possible rewards to the nation at large.  And just in case Bushmaster somehow ends up in a giant lawsuit over the recent massacre, the Ceberus equity firm has already been actively looking to sell Bushmaster to limit their liability.

Anyone else think it’s hilarious the gun is called a Bushmaster? Just PostScript?  Okay.

And as a coda, Liam-still acts as our Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come [if we do not learn to walk abroad with our fellow-men]:

The gun lobby will lay low until another blonde woman goes missing, and the national media shift all their attention to reporting on that story over and over, and then it will be assault rifles galore for everyone once more, as if those twenty innocent little children had never existed.