Raymond Hernandez for The New York Times covering NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s call for President Obama to do something about gun control in this country. Speaking to Peter King, a Republican Representative from New York (and the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee):
But Mr. King said he doubted that the shootings in Connecticut would alter the gun debate in Congress, saying that outside the Northeast a gun culture exists that is resistant to any kind of firearms regulation. “I hope I am wrong,” he said, “but I don’t think it will have a major impact on the debate in Congress. We’ve had a number of gun tragedies in recent years without any action being taken.”
A senior aide to a top Democrat in Congress echoed that sentiment, saying he was doubtful that there would be enough votes, even now, for passage of a ban on assault weapons.
Serious question: how many people have to die in the next inevitable tragedy before something actually gets done? Apparently, 27 — including 20 children — isn’t enough. So what will it take? 50? 100?
The pathetic reality is twofold. First, of course, there shouldn’t have to be a number — but at some point, with a high enough number, the political fall-out would be too great if something isn’t done. Second, I’m afraid that number is far higher than even 100 — and make no mistake, we will see a tragedy of that magnitude in our lifetimes. Probably sooner than any of us would like to acknowledge.
If a foreign terrorist killed 26 people in this country, we would invade their country in a heartbeat with few questions asked. When a domestic lunatic kills 26 people with little effort enabled in large part by our own laws dating back 200+ years, we do nothing. And we’ll keep doing nothing.