American Elephants


The Permanent Campaign Goes to Annapolis by The Elephant's Child

President Obama spoke to the graduates at the Naval Academy at Annapolis last week . He told them that they were the most diverse class in Navy history, and he told them that:

Every day, men and women of talent and skill work in the financial institutions that fund new businesses, and put new families — put families in new homes and help students go to college.  But we’ve also seen how the misdeeds of some — wild risk-taking or putting profits before people — sparked a financial crisis and deepened the recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs.

Every day, elected officials like those on this stage, but also all across the nation, devote themselves to improving our communities and our country.  But all too often we’ve seen a politics where compromise is rejected as a dirty word, and policies are driven by special interests rather than the national interest.  And that breeds a cynicism that threatens our democracy.

So the financial crisis wasn’t caused by a housing crisis, and loans made to people who could not afford to pay them back, not community organizers demanding that banks forgo the prudent rules of banking and make such loans, but by wild risk-taking and putting profits before people.

I’m glad to know that because I was worried that the government is once again pushing banks to make loans to people who can’t afford to pay them back, and I hear ads on the radio every day for people who want to teach you how to flip houses for major profit. Been there, done that, and it was so much fun you want to do it again?

“A politics where compromise is rejected as a dirty word, and policies are driven by special interests” — like paying back your union contributors and subsidizing cronies special interest in energy loans.

Seems a little crass to turn a congratulatory speech to graduates into a campaign speech, but I guess he can’t help it. The graduates won’t remember the speech anyway. Do you remember the speech at your graduation? I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who did.



Remarks by the President at the U.S. Naval Academy Commencement by The Elephant's Child

And then, with a straight face, this president actually says to the Academy graduates….

“Live with integrity and speak with honesty and take responsibility and demand accountability.” — Obama’s speech to U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2013

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
United States Naval Academy
Annapolis, Maryland

Gerard Vanderleun posted this yesterday at American Digest



And What Does David Warren Think? by The Elephant's Child

Do you know David Warren, Canadian journalist, now writing what he calls “Essays in Idleness“? If not, you should. His is a different voice, cranky and frank and always knowledgeable and interesting. Read the ‘About’ to get a sense of the man who is writing, and the first piece titled “Neil Reynolds” which is a fond obituary for two men who once hired him. It is a charming reminiscence.

The paragraph below is from an essay titled “The yairs chronicles,”which is his reaction to scandal central here in the adjacent nation. I wanted to call this bit to your attention, for I think it is worth your notice.  If you should happen to wander around a bit and read the whole piece or others, you will only be the richer for it.

People might think a man like Barack Obama would know something about politics, since he has been bathing in them most of his life. He does in fact know something about them, but not much. This is because his acquirements were all in a specialized area of politics — that of getting oneself elected. … Once outside that specialization, poor Obama is at sea. He was never exposed to the craft of governing, only to the craft of getting power. His ideas of how things work, of what can & can’t be done by government agency, are absurd & laughable. To be fair he is, in this respect, a typical politician. They all studied the same specialty; not one in a hundred studied anything else.

But leave all this aside. We still assume that, since he has the power that goes with the office, Obama must have influence over what falls out. On democratic theory, he could be held accountable. He could be replaced by someone who knows what he is doing, or is more likely to do what the people want. His replacement would then be judged by the same criteria.

Oh, go on, read the whole thing. There are some utterly delicious bits there, even if you disagree.



Dancing on Graves to Get His Way is Ugly. by The Elephant's Child

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The President has gone to great lengths to distract American attention with a focus on his gun ban, wringing all of the pathos he possibly can from the dead children of Sandy Hook. He used Air Force One to import a group of Sandy Hook parents specifically to lobby Congress to pass his gun bill. This is wrong, if not illegal. He has given over his “weekly address” to one of the Sandy Hook mothers to beg Congress for action on “gun violence.” There are apparently no limits on this president’s choice to demagogue and play on peoples emotions to get his own way.

It is particularly ugly to pretend to bereaved parents that any gun bill devised by Congress cam make a difference. It cannot. The ACLU long term campaign against anyone being detained in a mental health facility against their will might help if it were removed, but it is difficult for even the most skilled mental health professional to know what is in the mind of a patient, and when someone might turn to violence as a solution.

A survey of 15,000 law enforcement personnel found that the overall attitude of law enforcement is strongly anti-gun legislation and pro-gun rights, with a strong belief that an armed citizenry is effective in stopping crime. Here are some interesting gun statistics. We would do more good by banning hammers, knives and fists. I know that doesn’t appeal to the “do something” bunch, but bad things sometimes happen to good people, and sometimes it cannot be prevented.

There are risks to life. Hurricanes happen, they are weather events, and no  matter how much the greens try to eliminate SUVs and the carbon dioxide they imagine as the cause of global warming, events like the storm surge in New York and New Jersey happen. Maybe some gates to prevent storm surge could sometime help, but CO2 does not cause weather events, and global warming does not cause hurricanes. There are “Black Swan” events.

“Doing something” may make you feel better, but, unfortunately, it’s useless.



What Does Obama Hope to Accomplish With Gun Control? by The Elephant's Child

What is it that the President hopes to accomplish with gun control? It seems extremely odd that he has made gun control the big issue of his second term. He can’t possibly accomplish anything significant beyond tweaking the background check system, but the problem, if any, of that is a lack of enforcement rather than lacks in the system. There is a significant sector of the left that favors any gun legislation since they regard guns with horror, think hunters are bad people, and believe there shouldn’t be any guns at all. If you doubt the existence of this group, remember that PETA has been out demonstrating against fishing, for they believe it is cruel to the fish.

I presume that Mr. Obama’s aim is to portray Republicans who oppose more useless gun legislation, as people who don’t care about kids. The president has a habit of telling the American people that his political opponents are monsters. Though exploiting grief and tragedy for political purposes is in bad taste, that has never bothered the president who is a skilled demagogue.  Here’s what he said at the University of Hartford:

I want to thank…all the Newtown families who have come here today….And we are so grateful for their courage and willingness to share their stories again and again, understanding that nothing is going to be more important in making sure the Congress moves forward this week than hearing from them. I want to thank all the educators from Sandy Hook Elementary who have come here as well— the survivors who still mourn and grieve, but are still going to work every day to love and raise those precious children in their care as fiercely as ever. …

We can’t forget.  Your families still grieve in ways most of us can’t comprehend.  But so many of you have used that grief to make a difference — not just to honor your own children, but to protect the lives of all of our children.  So many of you have mobilized, and organized, and petitioned your elected officials “with love and logic,” as Nicole put it — as citizens determined to right something gone wrong. …

We have to tell Congress it’s time to restore the ban on military-style assault weapons, and a 10 round limit for magazines, to make it harder for a gunman to fire 154 bullets into his victims in less than five minutes. Let’s put that to a vote.

“This is not about politics.” the president said. ” Members of Congress have a simple choice to make. “What’s more important to you — our children, or an A grade from the gun lobby?” This is sheer demagoguery. There is nothing in any of the president’s proposals that would have prevented one death at Newtown.

A March 2013 survey of 15,000 law enforcement personnel on the Democrat’s proposed gun control bill found that the overall attitude of law enforcement is strongly anti-gun legislation and pro-gun rights, with the belief that an armed citizenry is effective in stopping crime.

Limits on the number of bullets in a magazine is particularly useless. It takes less than a second to change a magazine. It took twenty minutes for the police to arrive at Sandy Hook Elementary. Better mental health care would help, but what rules can you make? It’s always a subjective judgment, and we have a number of examples where professional psychologists and psychiatrists were presented with obvious evidence which they ignored. An order going out to mental health professionals and police departments to “Pay Attention” would help if the recipients acted upon the order.

The divide is not between people who care about school children and those who don’t care, though that’s how Mr. Obama wants to portray it. The divide is between those who want to do something and are willing to support any legislation because then they will be seen as “doing something,” however useless, and those who see no value in supporting something useless.



Matt Ridley: Fossil Fuels are Greening the Planet by The Elephant's Child

Make time for this important video. It’s only nineteen minutes long but what an informative, positive, exciting explanation of how the earth is becoming greener, and environmental conditions around the world are improving, as long as we don’t keep doing stupid things like putting the corn crop into our gas tanks. Matt Ridley speaking to our friends at the Reason Foundation.

In the meantime, President Obama reportedly will tell federal agencies they can’t approve any major projects until their impact on global warming has been weighed.

According to Bloomberg media, “President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.”

Bloomberg says Obama plans to “expand the scope of a Nixon-era law,” the National Environmental Policy Act, “that was first intended to force agencies to assess the effect of projects on air, water and soil pollution.”

If Congress won’t pass the laws he wants — in this case placing limits on “greenhouse gas emissions,”  he will just make law on his own. He doesn’t need any congressional approval. Never mind that separation of powers thing.

Poor guy, he can’t help himself. Every time he brags a little about how many jobs he’s creating (and he hasn’t gotten to positive number yet) he does some other dumb thing to restrain the private sector and make growth and more jobs even less likely.

 



Head Start: 40 Year, $100 Billion Failure. Obama Pushes To Do It Again. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama is pushing forward with a proposal to enhance learning opportunities for pre-kindergarten under-privileged children and middle class children. He wants to provide opportunities for children as young as 3 to participate, asserting that “education has to start at the earliest possible age.”

The president claimed every dollar invested in high-quality pre-kindergarten education ultimately saves more than $7 by, among other things, boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, and reducing violent crime. Yet the U.S. isn’t offering enough kids educational opportunities at a time when they are “just sponges soaking stuff in.”

This was the rationale for Head Start. The idea seems to be that well-to-do families often send their children to expensive pre-schools, their children do better in school, therefore if we duplicate the pre-school programs for poor children, then they will do well in school too. Oddly enough, we have just had another report from HHS on Head Start, which was mandated by Congress during the 1998 reauthorization of the program. After collecting data on more than 5,000 three and four-year-old children randomly assigned to either a Head Start or a non Head Start control group, the Department of Health and Human Services found “few sustained benefits”.

For more than 40 years the federal government has plowed more than $100 billion into this program, to little effect. There are other government programs whose effects actually grow substantially over time, and that are comparatively economical. The federal DC voucher program found that by their third year in private schools, the evidence was clear that voucher-receiving students were reading more than two grade levels above a randomized control group that stayed in public schools. Congress, particularly Democrats, defunded the DC voucher program while raising spending on Head Start.

The answer to the quandary of giving pre-school children a good start in education comes not from the example of a popular but ineffective Head Start program, but from another example, which President Obama probably didn’t like either, at the National Prayer Breakfast, when Dr. Benjamin Carson gave the keynote address.

Without saying a word critical of the president, Dr. Carson eviscerated the core assumptions of the Obama administration. He spoke eloquently about individual responsibility , the consequences of moral decay and soaring debt, the sinfulness of class envy and the pernicious effects of political correctness. It must have been especially galling to have his premises challenged by an African-American of such sterling character and profound accomplishment. Jack Kelly described:

Ben Carson was reared in inner-city Detroit by a mother who made time to parent despite working 18-hour days. She restricted her sons’ TV watching, wouldn’t let them play outside until they’d done their homework, required them to read two books a week.

The books his mom made him read eventually sparked a love of learning in young Ben.

A dramatic early incident caused him to deal with his violent temper, and he concluded that what happened to him in life depended chiefly on the choices he made, and the energy he put into them.

From then on, Dr. Carson’s story is pure Horatio Alger: A scholarship to Yale, medical school at the University of Michigan, then Johns Hopkins, where he became director of pediatric neurosurgery at the remarkably young age of 33. He pioneered the surgical techniques used to separate conjoined twins. He’s among America’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists, according to CNN; a “living legend,” according to the Library of Congress. A movie about his life was made in 2009.

Simple stubborn program. Restricted TV watching. Can’t play outside until their homework’s done, and make them read two books a week. How to parent.

Most of us don’t know all that much about parenting, except what we learned from our own parents. I’ve read about Asian “tiger mothers” who apparently account for the numbers of successful Asian students who become successful professionals at the top of their fields. So how do we teach parents how to raise successful students and successful professionals? This is a job for society’s little platoons, the private organizations and the churches, Not the federal government.

The federal government is inflicted with political correctness and silly ideas about diversity, and regulations and one-size-fits-all bureaucracy. They are not capable of fixing this.



The Proliferation of Presidential Posturing by The Elephant's Child

If you looked into the exit polls from the recent election, you will discover that the economy and jobs were the primary concern for voters and they thought that Gov. Romney would be better about that, but they thought that Obama cared about people like them, and Romney didn’t. Many people have suggested that Obama’s putting in an appearance at the devastation of Superstorm Sandy gained a lot of votes for him. Obama’s very presence showed that he cared.

Another way for a president to show his concern is to set up a commission. We have heard endlessly about Vice President Biden’s committee’s meetings and investigations into ways to prevent gun violence. Obama has turned to executive orders to show how concerned he is, and of course he will urge Congress to — take steps. He has issued 23 Executive Orders, and 9 ‘legislative ideas’ that the president wants to push through Congress, beginning, of course with the more pliable Senate.

The issuance of Executive Orders was accompanied by four children who have written letters to the White House about gun violence, ‘unexpectedly’ from four different ethnic groups.  The orders themselves are remarkably free of anything that would have prevented the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary or any other school, but if you are going to make an event out of the signing, it’s nice to have some kids on hand.

The NRA which did suggest something that would help to prevent gun violence, which is to have an armed guard in schools, and pointed out that the president’s children were protected by a number of armed guards. The White House responded:

Most Americans agree that a president’s children should not be used as pawns in a political fight,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary.

That’s why the president signed the executive orders surrounded by children who are being used as pawns in a political fight.

The White House has released the list of executive orders, but the annotated list (exactly the same, with added comment) is way more fun. Here’s what he wants Congress to do:

  • Require criminal background checks for all gun sales. (a.k.a. closing the “gun show loophole.”)
  • Reinstate and strengthen the assault weapons ban.
  • Restore the 10-round limit on ammunition magazines.
  • Protect police by finishing the job of getting rid of armor-piercing bullets.
  • Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime.
  • End the freeze on gun violence research.
  • Make our schools safer with more school resource officers and school counselors, safer climates, and better emergency response plans.
  • Help ensure that young people get the mental health treatment they need.
  • Ensure health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.

The gun show “loophole” really isn’t much of a loophole, and sounds more threatening than it is. The reason we discarded the assault weapons ban is because it accomplished nothing at all. Magazines or clips can be changed in about 2 seconds, so reducing the number of bullets in a magazine is not a big deal. The semiautomatic that Adam Lanza used to shoot 20 schoolchildren and 6 adults, complied with Connecticut’s assault weapons ban, and the boy did not buy the gun himself. President Obama said his goal is “to make sure that somebody like the individual in Newtown can’t walk into a school and gun down a bunch of children in a shockingly rapid fashion.”

The president , surrounded by children argues that the Sandy Hook massacre demonstrates the need for gun control policies that have nothing to do with the Sandy Hook massacre. Our schools would not be mad safer with more school resource officers and counselors, unless they happen to be armed. It took 20 minutes for police to arrive, which may be a simple problem of distance.

Major Nidal Hassan, who committed the Fort Hood massacre, was a psychiatrist, supervised by other psychiatrists. Timothy McVeigh didn’t use guns at all, but fertilizer. Most people who decide or plan to carry out a mass murder are pretty good at keeping their intent secret. One thing we do know from statistics is that perpetrators usually avoid any venue where they might be shot.  They head for gun-free zones.

To complete the posturing, the president subtly suggests that those who oppose his ideas — don’t care about the children.



The Hero of His Own Myth-Making. by The Elephant's Child

Barack Obama at the White House

It has often been said that there are only so many stories, and we just keep repeating the same ones over and over. In children’s books there is always the ugly duckling who, teased and bullied, grows up to be a swan. Another version is the Cinderella story, the beautiful girl in rags, cleaned up, is discovered by the prince and becomes a queen, or the ordinary boy who one day pulls Excalibur from the stone and is recognized as Arthur the King of Britain.

I suspect that this is Obama’s story. He always knew that he was destined for something transcendent, and now he is there — in the center of the world’s stage, destined for true  greatness. He has assembled a team of wise courtiers to cope with lesser matters, and he is reforming his cabinet to go forth and accomplish his goals, defeat the Republicans utterly, give them no quarter, provide a least a trillion more for Obama to spend in proving his transformational generosity and importance.

Although he has held the nation’s highest elective office for four years, James Freeman suggests, it is if someone else has been presiding over the record federal spending and deficits. Just this last week, as the federal government bumped up against its $16.4 trillion debt ceiling, Mr. Obama demanded the ability to borrow even more. He spun it this way: “While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed.”

An amazing statement, not only for its sheer arrogance, but because there in no spending reform over which Barack Obama will negotiate in good faith. His goal is to defeat Republicans completely, not negotiate with them. He does not grasp the notion of being president of all the people, though he sometimes treats national unity with a rhetorical flourish. He has attempted at every opportunity to go around Congress, and accomplish his goals by executive order, so they are his very own accomplishments, unsullied by constitutional or legal restrictions.

Congress, of course, can pass any laws it chooses to, but they do not become law without the president’s signature. It wasn’t Congress that was pushing funding on Solyndra, nor Congress who denied the Keystone XL Pipeline. Can Obama possibly get away with blaming congressional Republicans for his spending increases that they opposed?

But there is no spending problem. Obama has said so. There is only the threat of a Republican House not extending the debt ceiling enough. Senator Jeff Sessions has pointed out that the president proposes growth in spending over and above the Budget Control Act baseline, of approximately an additional $1 trillion.

He wants more than $170 billion in stimulus spending, including $26 billion for extended unemployment benefits, $50 billion for transportation spending, and $90 billion for an extension of the payroll holiday (which is considered on budget spending.) The unpaid for “doc-fix” to Medicare reimbursements is $394 billion.

Stimuluses don’t work. Extending unemployment benefits keeps the unemployed from finding work. If the transportation spending is California’s train to nowhere, we don’t need that; if it’s roads and bridges we’ve been there once too often. More payroll holiday? Social Security is already in enough trouble without depriving it of more funding. And when you pay doctors less, fewer doctors will see Medicare patients. Policies have consequences, and bad policies have bad consequences.

The goal of the Left is power. They tell themselves that reducing “inequality” will help the poor, but we’ve been down this path before. The aim of community organizing was to get banks to make more loans to people who could not afford to pay them back. When you get someone into a home where they cannot afford to pay back the mortgage, they also cannot afford to keep up the property and such homes gradually become slums. You cannot take enough money away from the rich to make the poor completely comfortable. It doesn’t work.

What does work is a growing, healthy economy. Jobs become more plentiful, people go back to work, and when government is smaller and less intrusive, people can manage their lives just fine. Freedom does work. We have the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression specifically because of the Obama administration’s policies, of relying on Keynesian economic stimulus which didn’t and has never worked, and an assortment of other bad liberal ideas.

Small business, 50 employees and up, is the engine of growth in an economy. The Obama administration has deluged them with regulations, taxes, rules, overcriminalization, health care costs and complete uncertainty. They don’t know how to plan, they don’t dare hire or expand because they don’t know what to expect. Will the economy tank? Will the next EPA regulation increase costs too much? Will some department suddenly decide that my operation is somehow illegal? We have seen examples of all of these things.

Those who don’t understand the limits of power, the consequences of their actions, or the results of their arrogance and ignorance — are guaranteed to fail. Those who do not understand human nature and man’s need for individual liberty do immeasurable damage.

Roosevelt made the Great Depression last far longer than it should have, with bad policies, and with his policy of “bold experimentation.” Obama said in a recent aside that maybe he would try some bold experimentation just like FDR.  I’m afraid that he meant it.



Drudge Does Juxtapositions by The Elephant's Child

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It’s the Spending, the Spending, the Spending! by The Elephant's Child

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The current debate over the “fiscal cliff” is an empty one, built upon a false premise. The debate pretends to be about raising tax rates to solve our current crisis. The claim is that it is the failure to tax the rich, or that the rich have not paid enough to prevent the present crisis.

If President Obama get his way, is proposed tax increases, to make the rich “pay their fair share,” on the top 2% of earners would fund the federal government for about eight days. If we taxed Americans earning over $1 million on 100% of their income, we would raise at best about $600 billion in revenue, which would not make even a significant dent in our over sixteen trillion dollar debt.

Taxing “the rich”is not a real solution, only political game-playing. Every dollar the government takes is another dollar used unproductively. Every dollar removed from the private sector and wasted in the hands of bureaucrats is a dollar that will not fund a payroll, hire someone who desperately needs a job, purchase goods or pay for services.

President Barack Obama has no intention of cutting back on spending. He has solar panels to support, cronies who want to build wind farms, electric cars to support, a “green fleet” to fuel. Or perhaps to hire more employees for the voraciously growing government. It takes some doing to add another trillion to the budget each year. That’s a lot of spending.

The president says we have no time for spending reforms.  Increasing the taxes paid by the rich is too important, we must do it right not, and maybe he’ll look at spending a little later. This is what Democrats do. See that big orange bulge? That’s interest on the debt, that’s unreformed entitlements and ObamaCare — did you think ObamaCare was going to cut the cost of health care?

The federal government plans on spending $1 trillion more next year than it did four years ago. If we spent at 2008 levels combined with the revenues of 2012, next year we would have a deficit as small as $89 billion. Was the size of government we had in 2008 not big enough? Was there a vast outcry for more people, more buildings, more bureaucracies?

A serious plan would extend the tax rates we have had for 12 years. That would encourage business because they would know what to expect. They would be able to plan, knowing what their taxes will be. If they could plan, and keep a little more of their own earnings, they might even start to grow and expand and hire workers. That beats squeezing a few more bucks out of “the rich,” the people who invest and build and already pay 70 percent of all taxes.

There is a long history that clearly shows that raising taxes depresses the economy.  Democrats just can’t get it through their heads. They want to spend, and to spend more they need more money.

 



Magical Thinking Is Not a Good Guide to Sound Lawmaking. by The Elephant's Child
December 18, 2012, 6:14 pm
Filed under: Freedom, News, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

In the wake of a horrendous mass-shooting, emotions are always high. Few people can even imagine the senseless killing of little children. What is absolutely predictable is the reaction, most predictably from mass media. Same accusations, same bogus solutions, same demand to eliminate guns, as if that was possible. To grasp how predictable the reaction is, you only have to note that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has hauled her bill out of a drawer where it has been for a year or so, waiting to introduce after the next mass-shooting.

There are no easy answers, and coming up with easy answers when emotions are high is a real mistake. Most predictable are attacks on the National Rifle Association, and cries to ban “assault weapons.” There is no such thing as an assault weapon—the term merely describes a weapon used in an assault—could be a baseball bat or a kitchen knife. What liberals mean is a scary-looking gun. The congressional efforts to define an “assault weapon” when they try to make a law, devolve into humor.

Many Americans, including some who live in cities, hunt. Many depend on fall hunting to fill the freezer to get them through the winter. Britain, in several stages, finally banned guns completely, forcing citizens to turn them in. The result has been a 89% increase in gun violence.

We need to address those who are mentally disturbed, but we don’t really know how. Many of those who need help refuse it. Psychiatrists can’t always help those who need it. The ACLU has influenced many of our laws that make it most difficult to restrain or confine those who are most dangerous.

Some hailed the president’s speech in Newtown, and the greatest speech since the Gettysburg Address, others were not so kind. He said:

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law—no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that—then surely we have an obligation to try.

In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens—from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators—in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

And over at Reason, Jacob Sullum responded

Finally, a president who has the guts to come out against the murder of children. Not only that, but he is prepared to confront those who, for murky but clearly frivolous reasons, tolerate violence, oppose tragedy prevention, and shrink from saving innocent lives. Because “politics” cannot be allowed to obstruct the solutions that every decent, right-thinking person favors.

Such as? Well, the president did not say. Neither did New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday, when he scolded Obama for not taking a firmer stand against the wanton slaughter of elementary school students. “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this,” the president had said, “regardless of the politics.” Bloomberg was unimpressed.

Sullum also pointed out that President Obama provided a window onto the magical thinking of people who think such appalling crimes could be prevented if only we had the courage to pass the right law.

Should we than do nothing? We should wait until passion has passed and common sense returned, before we leap into new legislation. Our legislators don’t do very well at making law, as much evidence shows,  and evil, as Mr. Sullum says, cannot be legislated out of the world by acts of Congress.




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