Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yesterday, an 8 year old boy shot a 7 year old girl at a day care center with a gun the boy had taken from his convicted felon father... and, to no one's surprise, the Washington Post waded in with an editorial on the incident where they, again to no one's surprise, called for more gun laws.

The Post acknowledges that Maryland passed a whole slew of gun control laws back in the 1990s, but laments that other laws, "potentially more effective in preventing accidents such as yesterday's -- went nowhere".

And what law is it that the Post singles out for mention? A proposal that guns be "personalized by incorporating technology restricting a gun's use to its owner". And the statistics that the Post cites as support for this proposal? A 2003 study which (skipping to the conclusion) thought that 34 deaths in Maryland "could have been prevented by a 'personalized' gun" (italics mine).

Note the word "could". Not 'would' have prevented, 'could' have prevented. A big maybe.

And it's not bad enough that the Post is pushing regulations that would cost gun owners millions and millions of dollars in higher prices in order to achieve a hypothetical benefit, the 34 deaths that the Post thinks 'could' have been saved occured over a 8 year period. Yes, that's right, an eight year period (1991 to 1998). That's a whopping 4 deaths a year that 'could' have been saved by passing laws that would cost gun owners millions of dollars but also would, to cite just one example, prevent a wife from using her husband's gun in order to shoot an intruder in her house if her husband was away (it would be his fingerprints that would 'activate' the gun, not hers).

And, of course, the Post never takes the criminal justice system - and their own liberal allies - for allowing the father back on the street in the first place. For had this guy still been in prison, this incident never would have taken place. And that is something the Post, in their haste to push for ever-tougher gun laws, conveniently ignores...

And, as of post time, the girl was expected to live... thank goodness.