After the massacre by radical Islamists who killed 14 and wounded 21 more in San Bernardino, Calif., the New York Times took its tasteless grandstanding on gun control literally to the front, in a rare front-page editorial, "The Gun Epidemic," calling for bans on civilian ownership for certain types of rifles and ammunition.
After joining the New York Daily News' anti-prayer brigade, the publicity stunt of an editorial briefly bowed to reality to admit that yes, there have been mass murders in countries with stringent gun control laws. Their rebuttal is a perfect encapsulation of liberal wishful thinking: "But at least those countries are trying."
On Friday's front page the "paper of record" refused to characterize the motive of the mass murderers: "A Couple Who Lived Quietly, Motives Unknown." That was despite the ever-clearer picture being painted of the couple's links (now confirmed) to Islamic terror.
Saturday's front page then changed the subject entirely, calling for new legislation to fight not Islamic terror, but the Second Amendment, in "The Gun Epidemic," calling American gun laws a "national disgrace" in the paper's first front-page editorial since 1920 (as the self-impressed Times informed us in the online version).
All decent people feel sorrow and righteous fury about the latest slaughter of innocents, in California. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are searching for motivations, including the vital question of how the murderers might have been connected to international terrorism. That is right and proper.
But you knew the "But..." was coming, and it arrived in paragraph two:
But motives do not matter to the dead in California, nor did they in Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut and far too many other places. The attention and anger of Americans should also be directed at the elected leaders whose job is to keep us safe but who place a higher premium on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms.
California already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, but you won't hear that from the paper. The Times even dipped its oar into the same slime that its anti-prayer colleagues at the New York Daily News did:
It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday. They distract us with arguments about the word terrorism. Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism.
Many people found it "callous" that all three Democratic candidates tweeted out calls for gun legislation before all the victims had been identified in San Bernardino.
Opponents of gun control are saying, as they do after every killing, that no law can unfailingly forestall a specific criminal. That is true. They are talking, many with sincerity, about the constitutional challenges to effective gun regulation. Those challenges exist. They point out that determined killers obtained weapons illegally in places like France, England and Norway that have strict gun laws. Yes, they did.
But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not....