Gun control looks to be dead. Whatever hopes people had that something positive could come out of the Newtown massacre have been dashed. Assault weapons ban? Dead. Magazine size limit? Dead. National gun registry? Dead. Universal background checks, the most popular of all gun control proposals? Dead.
Sometimes it is shameful to see how ineffective Congress is at addressing this nation’s problems. But this failure to enact any gun control legislation after the most horrifying gun massacre in living memory is absolutely shocking. Any person the least bit literate in American politics knows that sweeping, game-changing legislation is rare, and changes so big that they remake the American polity are all but impossible. But in the aftermath of dozens of children being brutally killed with a gun, it was reasonable to expect that something with teeth would be passed through Congress and signed into law by President Obama. When that became unrealistic, when it looked like the best available compromise was background checks for all gun purchases (the least acceptable fundamental regulation when it comes to weapons), gun control advocates were resigned. It wasn’t going to be a victory, but at least no one could legally purchase a gun who shouldn’t have one.
Instead, this country gets nothing. Not a goddamn thing. The bodies continue to pile up every day, most of them the victims of legal gun purchases. Suicides, murders, accidents — this is a country bathed in blood and it has everything to do with the ready availability of guns. This is a public safety issue of the highest order, and our government is unforgivably derelict in refusing to do anything about it.