Harvey Weinstein Can Do More About Violence Than New Gun Laws
There’s a reason both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have stayed away from the topic of gun control in the wake of the shootings at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo. Both men realize that more laws would not have stopped the mass killings. Romney put it well, “A lot of what this young man did was clearly against the law. But the fact that it was against the law did not prevent it from happening.” They both know the problem is not one of having too few laws on the books. We have plenty of gun laws, and we can’t pass a new one every time this happens.
Stricter background checks and easier access to databases of prior criminal histories are good, but those would not have stopped the shooter in this case—until the night of the murders, he was an otherwise law-abiding graduate student. The guns he owned were purchased legally because he passed the checks. Even an assault weapons ban would not have helped, because this guy brought an assortment of guns to the theater. It’s hard to predict when law-abiding people might snap, and unfortunately, all the laws in the world aren’t going to stop them when they do.
In his recent speech to the Urban League, the president embraced the idea of stricter gun control (“What I said in the wake of Tucson was we were going to stay on this, persistently”), but then he blamed congressional gridlock and the National Rifle Association’s lobbying power for why he hasn’t proposed anything—much to the chagrin of progressive pundits, politicians like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and now top Hollywood filmmaker Harvey Weinstein. The president managed to anger both the right and the left at the same time.