President Obama is clearly fed up. His speeches after mass shootings — speeches that have become a bit of a morbid ritual, given how regularly the shootings occur — have grown angrier, more emotional, and more disgusted at America's gun violence problem and Congress's unwillingness to do literally anything to stop it. "This is a political choice that we make," Obama declared Thursday night, after the 294th mass shooting of 2015, "to allow this to happen every few months in America."That's Vox, a reliably leftie new media site. It doesn't shrink from calling for confiscation:
But let's be clear about precisely what kind of choice this is. Congress's decision not to pass background checks is not what's keeping the US from European gun violence levels. The expiration of the assault weapons ban is not behind the gap. What's behind the gap, plenty of research indicates, is that Americans have more guns. The statistics are mind-blowing: America has 4.4 percent of the world's population but almost half of its civilian-owned guns.
Realistically, a gun control plan that has any hope of getting us down to European levels of violence is going to mean taking a huge number of guns away from a huge number of gun owners.
Other countries have done exactly that. Australia enacted a mandatory gun buyback that achieved that goal, and saw firearm suicides fall as a result. But the reforms those countries enacted are far more dramatic than anything US politicians are calling for — and even they wouldn't get us to where many other developed countries are.
The US doesn't just have a gun violence problem because of its lax gun regulation. It has a problem because it has a culture that encourages large-scale gun possession, and other countries do not. That, combined with Australia's experience, makes large-scale confiscation look like easily the most promising approach for bringing US gun homicides down to European rates.But what's interesting is Vox's conclusion:
Large-scale confiscation is not going to happen. That's no reason to stop advocating it.So finally we have an honest debate. This is about confiscation. Even the Left doesn't think that's going to happen. But at least we can reject the grotesque lies that have been put up as a smoke screen ("common sense gun control"). Truth is a Very Good Thing Indeed.