Whatever else may be said about Obamas 23 executive actions on guns and violence, this clearly wasnt the outcome that gun control advocates had in mind.
Thats the problem with these national conversations people actually expect a give and take.
Every American was horrified and saddened at the slaughter of 26 innocent women and children in Newtown. But most Americans including, its fair to say, a healthy cross-section of conservatives and liberals recognize that nothing short of repealing the Second Amendment, confiscating every handgun, rifle and shotgun in America, and locking up every marginal character in the land would have prevented the crime.
As for what the president laid out at the White House the other day, most of the ideas are merely palliatives feel-good measures. Some are foolish, and a few are downright offensive.
For example, Obama would continue the trend of treating gun ownership as a health problem. The president wants clarification that the Affordable Care Act doesnt prevent doctors from asking their patients about guns in the home. It doesnt. All the law says is that health care providers cant require patients to give up that information, and insurers cant use that knowledge to deny insurance. But that doesnt make it right, or any of a doctors business.
Yet Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both said that if theres even one life that can be saved, weve got an obligation to try. Assuming such an outcome is even possible it is not it wouldnt be the least bit desirable. Its a recipe for unlimited government.
Americans shouldnt fall for such emotive nonsense.
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty, Patrick Henry said. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.
Especially if its in the name of saving even one life.
Ben Boychuk is associate editor of City Journal.