Colorado and the dim prospects for gun control

From Jack Shafer.

The human reflex to find cause, meaning and lessons in the detritus of a massacre – and to impose a solution on the chaos based on those findings – should be trusted only to the extent that it allows us to muddle through the confusion churned up by such a crazed act. As we recover from the initial shock, we revert to our fundamental and irresolvable arguments about freedom and individuality, which aren’t very good at explaining why people shoot or dynamite innocents – or at stopping them from doing so.

Pollsters tell us that killings like the Colorado massacre don’t seem to move the public opinion needle very much. The 1999 Columbine shootings turned support for stronger gun-control laws upward, as this Huffington Post analysis of poll data from ABC/Washington Post, Gallup, and Pew shows, but the public’s attitude soon reverted to the previous baseline and actually continued to fall for the next 11 years.

Sadly, he’s right.