The Colorado theater massacre has triggered yet another discussion on gun control.
Reflection, discussion and debate is always a good thing, so let's keep it going. But somehow we've got to figure out a way to filter out the extremes of the gun debate if we hope to get anywhere at all.
The gun-control side probably doesn't need New York Mayor Bloomberg at the table—judging from his call for public outcry for increased gun control:
"I would take it one step further. I don't understand why the police officers across this country don't stand up collectively and say, we're going to go on strike. We're not going to protect you. Unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what's required to keep us safe."
But as James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal points out:
"Bloomberg’s strike would be for the purpose of curtailing the citizenry’s constitutional rights. The mayor urged an unlawful rebellion by government employees against their employers, the people."
Bloomberg's idiot idea would, of course, create a situation in New York reminiscent of "Escape from New York," in which anyone with half the sense of Snake Plissken would run out and buy a gun or two. (I would recommend the gun market at KSL.com, which Bloomberg embarrassed the Mormon Church by calling the third most active in the nation.)
Knee-jerk won't cut it. Anyone serious about calling for "assault rifle" bans or registration, better do their homework because here's the other side. To give yourself a small idea of the gun-law hurdles ahead, sit down and write out a definition for "assault rifle." You'll begin to understand the right's mockery of liberals' irrational fear of the: "ugly black rifle."
Case in point: Bill O'Reilly demonstrated just how counterproductive ignorance is when he called for registration of "heavy weapons" with the FBI during a shouting match with Rep. Jason Chaffetz. (Chaffetz was well informed and made O'Reilly look like an idiot.)
And don't expect Obama to have your back on gun control—at least until (and if) he is re-elected. He's a Second Amendment champion these days.
Glen Warchol is an arts, culture and politics contributor to Salt Lake magazine. He also writes Crawler at SLCene.com.