David Frum despairs that there will be any new firearm legislation in Congress, and he called on President Obama to do a couple of things within in capacity as chief executive —
First: The president can direct the surgeon general to compile a scientific study of the health effect of individual gun ownership. The basis of the whole gun debate in the United States is the belief by millions of Americans that they need a firearm in the home to protect themselves from criminals.
That’s fine, but we already have copious data showing that firearms in the home are far more likely to injure or kill someone in the family than to be needed to repel an intruder. And the Gun People just shout that down with anecdotal evidence and data pulled out of the NRA’s ass. You might as well explain physics to a turnip.
The second step that might be taken — again without the need for any congressional vote — is for the Senate to convene hearings into the practices of the gun industry analogous to those it convened into the tobacco industry in the 1990s.
Frum goes on to call for more safety features on guns, which ought to reduce accidents, but of course accidents are only part of the problem.
However, the New York Times is reporting that there really is support for limiting the size of magazines. IMO this really would be more effective at reducing carnage than an “assault weapons” ban. There is also considerable support for universal background checks. If just those two measures are enacted, it could save a few lives, I believe.