The Oct. 1 shootings at Umpqua Community College in Oregon have made gun control a trending issue in the presidential campaign. At least for now. The candidates have largely restated or reinforced their longstanding positions, with Hillary Clinton taking the strongest stance by unveiling a plan that would make it harder to buy a firearm. But expect the political rhetoric to soon be muffled by political reality: Congress isn’t going act on gun laws anytime soon.
“What is wrong with us that we can’t stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby and the gun manufacturers? This is not just tragic. We don’t just need to pray for people, we need to act. We need to build a movement.”
“We need sensible gun control legislation which prevents guns from being used by people who should not have them. We must greatly expand and improve our mental health capabilities so individuals and families can get the psychological help they need when they need it.”
“We should . . . find out as much as we can about what type of person does this. You’re not going to handle it with more gun control, because gun control only works for normal, law-abiding citizens. It doesn’t work for crazies.”
“Before we start calling for more laws I think we ought to consider why we don’t enforce the laws we have. . . . One of the first things we can do is prosecute those folks who have guns and aren’t supposed to have guns according to the law.”
“The reflexive reaction of the left is to say we need more gun laws. Criminals don’t follow gun laws. Only law-abiding citizens follow gun laws, and there’s just no evidence that these gun laws would prevent these shootings.”