Now I know how those paper targets at the gun range feel.
Responding to Jay’s post below, commenter correctionrequest asks for a correction of something I wrote yesterday after having read the following in Media Matters:
In an April 17 post on the magazine’s Swampland weblog, Time’s Tumulty described as “radical” a policy position — mandatory registration of all firearms — that has enjoyed the support of nearly 80 percent of the American public.
In fact, what I wrote in that post was:
Al Gore’s relatively modest proposal in the wake of Columbine for licensing gun owners (as opposed to the more radical one of registering their guns) is still widely believed to have been a factor in costing him the election, losing him votes that he might otherwise have gotten from, for instance, gun-owning union members.
I was comparing two proposals: licensing gun owners vs. registering their guns. Anyone who has dealt with the politics of gun control can tell you that one of those is viewed as more “radical” an idea than the other. (And by the way, public opinion polls are not really a measure of how difficult it would be to change a law, which is what I was referring to in this instance.)
I also caught flack on the right, from Newsbusters, for having described licensing as modest:
Making people apply for a license to exercise a constitutional right is “modest”? I doubt Tumulty would see things that way were she to have to get permission from the government to exercise her freedom of the press.
Again, I was comparing one proposal to another one. You can see why politicians would just prefer to leave the whole subject alone.