Gun Control Legislation is Another Victim of Our Short Attention Span

The notion of banning guns in America is such a far reaching idea that it’s almost laughable. It will not happen because the voters don’t have the will to make it happen. There are 535 members of congress who, when the subject of control comes up, say, “Okay guys we have to go stir the pot til this dies down.”

They’re saying that right now because we just had an election. The voters will have forgotten about it by 2014. But congress will talk about how terrible assault weapons are, then once they’ve confused the voters about the definition of an assault rifle, they’ll switch to high capacity magazines. And there might even be some legislation offered up which proposes to ban them.

Maybe it will pass, but in the meantime, the Democrats will say, “Look what I’ve done about gun control.” And the Republicans will say, “We’re outraged at this senseless assault on the Second Amendment." By the time that’s over, the voters will say, “Why did the lights go out at the Super Bowl?”

There are too many guns in private hands in the U.S. to ever hope for a successful ban of private ownership — simple logistics — so don’t waste cycles trying to deny it. There’s also the matter of the Second Amendment. It’s conceivable that someone will sponsor a bill to repeal it, but before you get excited about it, take a look at what happens next.

During all the debates, each side will flood the blogosphere with statistics, sometimes outrageous statistics, to defend their point of view. Recently the National Rifle Association (NRA) ran a TV ad claiming President Obama was being elitist for downplaying school security when his own children attended a school with armed security guards (exclusive of the Secret Service). The ad was pulled when it was revealed to be a complete fabrication. Wayne LaPierre knows how short our memories are and that if he does a poll in six months he’ll still find people who use his lies to support their position.

The president knows these things, and he isn’t about to spend valuable political capital trying to rise against the tide. Within 60 days, nobody in Washington will be talking about gun control. They will have moved on to more pressing matters, confident they have presented a brave attempt which will placate their constituents until the next time.

The trouble is there seems to always be a next time. Whether it’s guns, or earmarks, fiscal cliffs or sequestration, they talk and they kick the can down the road in hopes that voters will follow the time honored tradition of throwing up their hands in frustration.

Face it, Washington doesn’t want to solve problems; Washington wants to solve re-election fears. They can’t get re-elected by solving problems, because every problem solved is inextricably attached to voters who disagree. 

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Michael Cain

Author, PTSD coach, highly opinionated.

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