Style over substance won’t solve the problem

President Obama came to Minnesota on Monday to tout his plans to reduce gun violence, such as school shootings. We’d like to give the president the benefit of the doubt, but his specific proposals are superficial and uninspiring.

Consider what he is saying. He wants to ban “military-style assault weapons.” What are those, exactly? They are semi-automatic rifles. Would all semi-automatic rifles be banned? No. So the point is?

Obama also wants to limit the capacity of magazines to 10 rounds. A?magazine holds bullets. The magazine is put into the gun to load it. The ostensible object of limiting magazine capacity is to limit the damage a shooter can do. Will it? No. Because there is no limit on the number of magazines a person can own.

The president also supports “universal background checks” on gun buyers. This is intended to weed out the mentally ill and criminals from buying guns. Because we all know that people who plan to commit violent acts with guns first drop by their neighborhood gun store, right? Because they would never imagine stealing a gun or making an illicit buy?

But the president is trying to do something, right? Doesn’t he deserve credit? Again, no. What he is doing is wasting time and effort, starting a political fight. Even if he wins – he won’t – his proposals would be ineffective.

Are we suggesting the president go farther, that he ban more weapons and equipment, that he intrude further into the rights of law-abiding citizens? No. Prohibitions will spark lawlessness. Gun-running, gang wars, etc. And those prohibitions would disarm law-abiding citizens who would still face criminals, or tyrants.

What’s the answer? When it comes to school shootings, as we have said before:?Let schools solve the problem, as they see fit. Let parents exert influence on the schools. Seeing national leaders rushing around as if they can be effective is simply disheartening.